Why We Vote at NRBC

2 Corinthians 2:6 (ESV) - For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough,

 

In 1 Corinthians, Paul had instructed the church in Corinth to remove an unrepentant sinning brother from the blessings of being a part of their church family. This gentleman was committed to a lifestyle that was contrary to the Gospel and in step with the most debauched expressions of the Corinthian culture.  He was in an illicit sexual relationship with his stepmother.  Paul said,

 

 1 Corinthians 5:2 (ESV) … Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

 

Jesus had previously outlined in Matthew 18 the proper steps for taking such drastic action. I am assuming, of course, that the Corinthians followed the course laid out by Jesus for occasions like this.  The last “step” in Jesus’ instructions was

 

Matthew 18:17 (ESV) – If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

 

The church as a whole was to be the final court of action, the last statement that God’s people could make in their attempt to recover an erring member.  If that step didn’t work, unrepentance called for excommunication.   Harsh, I know, but Paul’s words are even harsher when he tells the Corinthians

 

 1 Corinthians 5:5 (ESV) – you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

 

Evidently, the Corinthian church followed Paul’s exhortation and did precisely what Jesus had previously instructed.  The church took action and removed him. 

 

And the discipline had its desired effect.  The man was brought to repentance, a godly sorrow over what he had done to the testimony of Christ and His body in the city of Corinth.  But now what?  Is he permanently severed?  Is there ever any hope for restoration?  What next? The Corinthians wanted to know.

 

Paul instructed the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 2 to receive him back, to comfort him, to love him.    The prodigal has returned and the last sheep has been found.  For this, and for all the instances of church discipline since then, we can only praise and thank God for his amazing grace.

 

The simple point I would like to make is this:  somehow, the Corinthian church had to take some kind of formal action that would indicate to Paul and the sinning brother that a “majority” really did act to remove him from their midst.  Again, just to remind you how Paul said it:

 

2 Corinthians 2:6 (ESV) - For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough,

 

Now, the best way that I know of to determine that a majority of people inflicted a punishment is by, yes, voting.  There are other ways, but by far the best way is by the clear and simple act of each person indicating his or her stance by the process of casting a ballot, raising a hand, or saying, “Aye” when asked if “All in favor?”

 

Now, do I know precisely HOW the Corinthian church came to a majority opinion? Of course not.  But I do know that they did, and I also know that the best way to do that is by voting. 

 

So when it comes to decisions that the congregation is responsible to make itself, when a majority is needed to pursue a certain direction, the best way to do that is by way of congregational vote.  And this, dear church family, is why we vote.