Monday, February 20, 2006

Monday's hot topics - EXCOMMUNICATION!

And no, those capitals are not a mistake. Recently on the forum, Beth, brought up an example of someone who was kicked out of their church, ("excommunicated" or "read out of fellowship"), challenged the decision in court and won!
A lawyer friend of mine who was an elder in an Open Brethren meeting was telling us that their particular meeting was taken to court for excommunicating a member. The Judge in the case, in the Supreme Court of Ontario, ruled that as members are admitted by confession of faith and baptism, and the meeting had no Constitution in place, so therefore no mechanism existed by which they could legally and constitutionally excommunicate members. The plaintiff won a very generous settlement because of punitive damages suffered by being publicly excommunicated.
Wowzers.Hannah wondered aloud "What about 1 Corinthians 6?" which instructs us not to take a brother to court? Lots to discuss with this issue. First off where do we get the idea of "reading people out of fellowship"? What should be done if this is carried out unjustly (as in the case mentioned)? Should the church's decision be challenged in court? Lot's to discuss with today's hot topic, share your experiences and perspective - here

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