Biblical church discipline
Jeremy Courtnay did not attend the meeting on the next “Day of Prayer” August 07, 1679, that he had been asked to attend by Brothers Bodenham and Snead who were appointed to contact him and inform him that he was expected to attend. And the congregation finding no evidence of true repentance, “did agree together to cast him out of ye Church: having sent two Brethren ye Lord’s day before to him, to summon him to attend ye Congregation this day for prayer; but he came not…Yet, Notwithstanding, ye Congregation proceeded to theire duty. And therefore, one of ye Ruleing Elders, Namely, Br. Terrill, by consent of ye whole Congregation then assembled, did pronounce ye sentence…This evening ended, with lamentation and sore trouble that wee were forced, for ye preservation of ye Glory of God and ye Churches purity, thus proceed to our duty, as ye last means to endeavour his recovery…For what Christ will Judge hereafter, his people should Judge here, and have noe fellowship with such workes of darkness.” This was not a hasty decision by the church. Prior to that, on Sept. 8, 1677, six brethren visited Brother Courtnay to reprove and admonish him of “his sinne of drunkenness that hee was fallen into.” He declared his repentance and asked for prayer. On Dec. 12 he was dealt with for drunkennesse. On March 7, 1678, the pastor admonished Jeremy Courtnay for the second time in the presence of the church. On March 19 his wife asked the brethren to keep a solemn day of fasting and prayer at their home for him which they did on the 21st day of the month. Can Jeremy Courtnay say before God, “No man cared for my soul?”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 323-25.
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Author – W.A. Dillard
AND THEY KNEW NOT. . .
“ For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matt. 24:38, 39.
The Divine description of life in the antediluvian world may cause one to ask, “Just what is wrong with what they were doing? It is not still just fine to eat, and to drink, and to marry and give in marriage?” It depends on what is understood by the statement. If those things were done in moderation, and in accord with the will of the Heavenly Father, then there was indeed no wrong done by those deeds. On the other hand if these were the driving forces of life, they speak of a sensual, epicurean society that did not eat to live, but lived to eat, drink, and gratify wanton lusts. The deciding clue comes from the rest of that description, “….And knew not until the flood came and took them all away…” This underscores the driving force of life then as sensual continuously. They had neither regard for God nor any sense of accountability to Him. When people persist in debauchery, they exclude God from their thinking. Life then degenerates to the lowest level of “me only.” When that determination persists, God gives people over to a reprobate mind to do those things that and not convenient, but rotten, filthy, and without compassion. So, they continued on in a degenerate lifestyle which they must have thought would never end. And the flood came and took them all away, except the righteous man Noah and his family.
Jesus’ description of that time was given as a warning sign that the world would degenerate into that same condition as the time of His coming approached. Let the reader pause and read again the first chapter of the book of Romans. Certainly, this is a description of the dark side of civilization in Paul’s day. But that was nearly 2000 years ago. The kind of folks he described were the same kind as those before the flood. Moreover, this type of humanity has multiplied exponentially during the last two millenniums. On the American scene, at least, this has become considered normal and acceptable. It is not that warnings have escaped the scope of their knowledge; rather it is that they refuse to believe them and so discount them altogether. What can be done? Keep sounding the alarm! This evil world system is going down, and all with it who love it. But there may be one here or there who will hear. Still, for the most part it shall be repeated, “And they knew not . . . “ So soon shall the Lord appear and the corrupters of men will cry for the rocks and mountains to fall upon them to hide them from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” Rev. 6:16