Regarding Church Unity

Feb 16, 2012

Recent news reports have raised questions about Second Presbyterian’s approach to church unity and our handling of church disagreements.  We would like to explain our beliefs to you.

In matters of church unity and discipline, the Bible is Second Presbyterian’s roadmap, and our Restoration and Peacemakers Ministry ("RPM") has been using that roadmap to restore relationships since 1997.  We are blessed to have men and women who are called to serve in our Restoration and Peacemakers Ministry to promote the peace and unity of God's Church.  One of the cornerstones of the RPM is maintaining the highest level of confidentiality for those involved in the process.  We believe that confidentiality is essential to solving disagreements in the biblical way and protects the unity and peace of both the church family and the individual members involved. In this process, our members must feel that they can talk openly and honestly without fear that their privacy will be compromised or that details of their lives will become a matter of public discussion.  Therefore, we will not discuss specific details of this or any other case.

We are saddened that a matter being handled through our Restoration and Peacemakers Ministry and our church discipline process has been raised as a public issue for debate in the local press. God calls us to pursue peace, purity, and unity of the church in a way that respects and protects the health of our church body and the parties involved.

Church discipline is never easy, but it is something God clearly calls us to do. Neglecting concerns or issues that affect the peace and unity of our church family is not an option. God holds the leaders and members of the church accountable for our family’s health and well-being. In Scripture, God commands us to deal with church conflicts or disagreements prayerfully, humbly, privately, and with great caution and self-examination. In all situations, Second Presbyterian’s goal is to seek repentance, reconciliation, and restoration of relationships. 

Second is thankful for God's love, forgiveness, and grace that He extends to all of us through Jesus Christ.  We believe that the church is a family of believers made up only of sinners, each of us resting solely on God’s goodness and mercy to bring us into His family. Like any human family, sometimes we don’t see eye-to-eye. We acknowledge room for differences of opinion, but we believe God calls us to approach resolution of our differences in a loving way that upholds the integrity of the church and promotes the glory of God.

Because we have confidence in the miraculous, restoring power of Christ’s love and mercy, we continue to pray and work toward restoration and healing in this unfortunate situation. We know that God cares for each member of our church family and wants us to enjoy full fellowship with Him and with each other. May all the glory for all restoration go to Him. 

Read more about Second's Restoration and Peacemakers Ministry