Why Practice Church Discipline?

Of Excommunication and Other Censures

The censures of the church, are appointed by Christ, for the preventing and removing, and healing of offences in the church:

for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren; for the deterring others from the like offenses; for purging out the leaven which may infect the whole lump; for vindicating the honour of Christ, and of his Church, and the holy profession of the gospel; and for preventing the wrath of God, that may justly fall upon the church, if they should suffer his covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders.

–The Cambridge Platform, 1648

From The Reformation of the Church by Iain H. Murray

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When Doctrinal Purity Must Be Sacrificed

Where money is the great wantnumbers must be sought; and where an ambition for numbers prevails, doctrinal purity must be sacrificed. The root of evil is the secular spirit of all our ecclesiastical institutions. What we want is a spiritual body; a Church whose power lies in the truth, and the presence of the Holy Ghost.

–James Henley Thornwell, 1846

From Evangelicalism Divided by Iain Murray

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Worse Than Division in the Church?

“False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism. If people separate themselves from teaching which is positively false and unscriptural, they ought to be praised rather than reproved. In such cases separation is a virtue and not a sin… there is one thing which is even worse than controversy, and that is false doctrine, allowed, and permitted without protest or molestation.”

–Bishop J.C. Ryle

From Evangelicalism Divided by Iain Murray

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Cling to the Truth

“Cling to the truth, pure and simple – to the truth, and not to mere feelings, impressions, sentiments; to the truth, and not to tampering with falsehood; to the truth: it is heaven-born; to the truth: it is from God, and he knows best what we should believe and what do… to the truth: it is sure to bring the rich blessings of its Author.”

–Dr Thomas Murphy, 1888

From Revival and Revivalism by Iain Murray

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