Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
Whatever indictments are made should be done in accordance with the scripture Seth referenced (Matthew 18:15-17). Paul stated in Galatians 6:1 "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Galatians 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." This may not quite be what you were asking but in the early Corinthian Church there was a particular issue the Apostle Paul addresses. One of the members was committing incest with his father’s wife. I recommend you read the whole chapter to get a clearer understanding. 1 Corinthians 5:1 "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife." v. 2 says the members were puffed up, indifferent and unconcerned to this sin whereas they should have been grieving over it and take action. In verse 12 Paul tells them to put him out of the Church. Approximately 1 year later Paul states in 2 Corinthians 2:6 that the offending member had received sufficient punishment by many. It was now time for forgiveness and they should comfort him before he was overwhelmed with sorrow (v.7). In v. 8 Paul pleaded/exhorted the members to confirm their love toward the individual. I believe this teaches that serious issues and problems in the Church body should be dealt with head on but after repentance, the body should encourage the brother or sister with love, bringing them back in to Church fellowship.
With the above verses pointed out there is no other clear direction to this. There is however a lot to consider in this type of situation. Here are some questions that first must be asked; 1. To whom was the sin committed 2. Who is affected by the sin. 3. Who knows of this particular sin 4 How will this sin affect the church body 5. What good will come if the entire church body is informed from the pulpit 6. How can restoration come from this 7. How will relationships in the church be affected These are but a few. A leader should almost never expose a sin of a person in the congregation. The leaders responsibility is to reconcile and restore. If there are many affected in the church body then after prayerful consideration and with much reservation should the entire church body know. If it is to protect the members from another predator or someone who may be taking advantage of those in the body and if the person committing the sin will not submit to godly discipline then perhaps. Love covers a multitude of sin, another thought whatever cannot be covered needs to be confronted. Motive is another thing that should be considered. I am going to tell the church body to show him that he shouldn't sin like this, or this will make him stop sinning so I'll tell the congregation. A pastors job is to protect the flock and if he can protect the flock and help heal wounds of other sheep without informing the entire flock then he should lean in that direction. Church leadership is at times a very demanding position especially if it is done with a circumcised heart and care for the people. We must remember to love the believer and protect them and help them through things but try never to belittle or embarrass them. Usually shame will get the best of them and they will leave, at this point it is what I believe the pastors responsibility to inform the pastor of the next church to whom this person went of what happened in the last church depending on the sin. Just because the scripture tells us how we can do it does not mean we should do it that way. Just because you have a permit to carry a loaded gun does not always mean you should use it. They are the same, someone is likely to get hurt to include bystanders. Humility and self control is knowing you have all the power to destroy and not using it.
Matthew 18:15-17 New King James Version (NKJV) Dealing with a Sinning Brother 15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’[a] 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. Deuteronomy 19:15 New King James Version (NKJV) The Law Concerning Witnesses 15 “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. This scripture also comes to mind: 1 Corinthians 6:5-7 New King James Version (NKJV) 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! 7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? So, we see that there is a process to follow when it comes to correction. When we read Matthew chapter 7 we should not think that means for us never to have an opinion. All things must be done decently and in order. John 7:24 New King James Version (NKJV) 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order. Remember also that we live in a society who does not take kindly to a church that wishes to judge itself. It thinks that is always it's job. Churches have been sued for this. Well known pastors do claim to practice church discipline. Just be careful. If your brother repents: Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
The below passage from Matthew is a good process for dealing with sin. It's how my Church operates (though I've never seen it get to the last step). Matthew 18:15-17 - "If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector." I Corinthians 5 may also be relevant. There was a Church member who was having sex with his own mother. Paul said that even though he was physically absent, that he was present in spirit and that he had judged this proclaimed Christian and that the Church was to basically kick him out. It seems that based upon 5:4 that this was probably done in public, when they were meeting.
Great question, Steven Berg! Jesus said something about this. Read on. HOW TO EXERCISE CHURCH DISCIPLINE (Mt 18:15-20): A. The procedure (Mt 18:15-17) 1. “If your brother sins against you, go to him in private, and attempt to reconcile the matter.” (Mt 18:15) -- NCB “If your brother wrongs you, go and take up the matter with him when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” 2. “If this fails, take someone with you.” (Mt 18:16). --NIRV "But what if they won’t listen to you? Then take one or two others with you.” Scripture says, “Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses.” (Deuteronomy 19:15) Ask for others’ help. We should share the facts as we see them and ask the brethren for their prayerful counsel. After all, it may be that we are wrong. If the brethren feel the cause is right, then together we can go to the offender and try once again to win him. Not only can these men assist in prayer and persuasion, but they can be witnesses to the church of the truth of the conversation. (Deut. 19:15; 2 Cor. 13:1) 3. “If this fails, bring the matter before the church.” (Mt 18:17a)-- CEV "If the follower refuses to listen to them, report the matter to the church." “If he refuses to listen.” Reconciliation is the goal of Jesus’ instruction; the entire assembly must try to bring the straying brother or sister back to the fold. Ask the church for help. Remember, our goal is not the winning of a case but the winning of a brother. The word “gained” in Matthew 18:15 is used in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 to refer to winning the lost, but it is also important to win the saved. (Faithlife Study Bible) 4. “If this fails, dismiss the unrepentant brother.” (Mt 18:17b) -- VOICE "Then, if your brother or sister still refuses to heed, you are to share what you know with the entire church; and if your brother or sister still refuses to listen to the entire church, you are to cast out your unrepentant sibling and consider him no different from outsiders and tax collectors." -- What God desires most is not the casting out of an unrepentant member, but loving chastisement for the sake of bringing the sinful back to God. ISV "If, however, he ignores them, tell it to the congregation. If he also ignores the congregation, regard him as an unbeliever and a tax collector." “As a Gentile and a tax collector”: In the narrative’s Jewish context, Gentiles and tax collectors would be regarded as outsiders (see note on Matt 5:46; note on 5:47). This instruction to cut ties with the unrepentant sinner is intended to remove sin from the local group of believers. Faithlife Study Bible (Mt 18:17) B. The promise (Mt 18:18-20): The authority of heaven itself will support this kind of church decision. 18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Bare-bones outline from Harold Wilmington)
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.