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Campbell County Baptist Association
Circular Letter, 1891

"Church Discipline"

      Now, brethren of the Baptist church, and of the Campbell County Association, a great deal is said and talked about Baptist discipline, what it is, where it originated, and should it be enforced. First we answer that church discipline is scriptural. When we are born anew, or come out from the world and have been made feel the comfort and peace of that new life, we should let go things of the old life that would tend to mar the peace and happiness of that new life, and conform to the rules and discipline of a new life. We believe that discipline of the church is nothing more than scripture revealed to us by our blessed master, putting off the thing we once loved, when in the bonds, of Satan, and adopting that form and practice of life that is in unison with the new life.

      God has said in this new life, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultry, thou shalt not take the name of God in vain, thou shalt not be given to drunkenness, thou shalt not be given to riotness, etc. Then taking under consideration all things, God has commanded us to do and not to do in this new life forms a decorum of new rules, or in other words, church discipline.

[p. 15]
      To deviate from these teachings would be contrary to the evidences of a new life. The world puts her value and estimation on our failing to live up to what we profess to be, and failing to enforce our rules of government against those who may have violated discipline is to the church as pruning is to the tree.

      What would this country of ours be if it was not for the government or rules or laws that we have to govern us, and yet they would be of none effect if not enforced. Church discipline is not conforming to anything laborious or tasky, but simply doing that which God has commanded. It is by strict observance of the laws or rules of government that any organization is successful. The church is an organization of God's own form, and He gives us these laws or this discipline to obey.

      Now, brethren, what will be the result if we fail to carry these rules out. We who have banded ourselves together in His church. He holds us responsible to carry out His laws, or, in other words, His discipline. Do we not see the effect of non-discipline? Why, brethren, we can hardly distinguish our church members from the world by their daily walk and conversation. Let us arouse and be active workers in our Master's cause. Let us discipline our churches in the way God has commanded us to do. Let our ministers encourage discipline and let our members encourage it by enforcing the same.
     James M. Daniel.


[From Campbell County Baptist Association Minutes, 1891, pp. 14-15. This document is from the Northern Kentucky Baptist Association office, Erlanger, KY. Scanned by Jim Duvall ]

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