Expelling from the Church : Yea or Nay?

Is it okay (and if so, when), to expel someone from the Church?


  1. Well, tresspass warrants are important when a parishioner becomes violent. But even then membership should not be revoked.

    The Methodist Discipline essentially does not permit church discipline of the laity. Which is a real pity, because we cannot hold people accountable for grievious, unrepentent sins or for repeatedly disrupting congregational life.

  2. We have homeless and mentally ill brothers and sisters who frequent our church and we have had to have a restraining order issued in at least one case.

    And there was much sadness over that case because he did suffer from mental illness and it wasn't so much a matter of casting him "out" as it was just a safety matter for other church members.

    The anabaptist tradition has codified the practice of shunning (as the Amish and Mennonites call it) but I don't know of any cases personally where that has happened.

    Holding folk accountable is not something that most churches do or (if they do it) do well, it seems to me.