A dear friend of mine was engaged in a discussion of spiritual stuff with a Methodist friend of his. A question arose in the conversation that stirred some question about the authority over the matter.
My friend said, “This guy I was talking with said, ‘Hmmm, I’m going to go check that out to see what our book of discipline says about it.’ ”
My friend came back with, “We’ve already got a book of discipline right here. It’s the Bible. Rather than look up in your book of discipline, why don’t we see what God has to say about it in His book of discipline.”
My friend is a diplomat. He’s gracious and a gentlemen and talks to most folks with a pound of grace and kindness. I, on the other hand, am Type A on steroids. I probably would not have been so kind. I would probably have demeaned his character and talked ugly about his mom. I can hear myself now: “Are you kidding? Where on God’s green earth did you get the idea that Methodists use some cockamamie book written by man as their authority for discipline rather than the Bible?”
I grew up Methodist. The Methodist church today is not the church I grew up in. As I understand it today it has eroded into a denomination that wants to be all things to all people. They don’t want to offend anyone. They don’t preach against sin and for obedience. They don’t revere God’s Holy Word, nor preach from it often. They don’t care what you believe as long as you put something in the offering. And this breaks my heart–most of them DO NOT BRING THEIR BIBLES TO CHURCH, or open them, or take notes.
It is becoming a worldly church, like many other churches in the body of Christ. They don’t need the Bible. They come to church to feel good when they leave. Many in the body in these worldly churches are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold. Jesus has a word for them:
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold
nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot
nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
3 thoughts on “A book of discipline”
Sadly, what you wrote is so true.
I left the denomination when I surrendered to the call to preach. When issues that are clearly addressed in Scripture were being determined by the book of discipline, I told our pastor that the Bible is the only book of discipline. We don’t need manmade religion.
That’s the problem. People grow up following Methodists or Presbyterians, or Baptists or Lutherans or AG or Evangelicals or whatever instead of dedicated to following Jesus.