Church Discipline: Psychology vs. God’s Word

“Modern psychology objects to a negative approach and opposes commandments and warnings. God’s Word does not support such a theory, for the theory ignores the awful fact of a depraved human nature. It would be ideal if men could be encouraged to live godly lives without any warning of judgment upon ungodliness. But to suppose they will do so is idealistic and contrary to all observation, as well as to Scripture. God warns of impending judgment and says, ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’ (Heb. 10:31). ‘Because there is wrath, beware…’ (Job 36:18). If sin goes unjudged in a church, we are thereby inviting others to become self-indulgent. It will not do to plead ‘love’ as a basis for neglect. … God does not put love and punishment in opposition to each other. He says, ‘For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth…’ (Heb. 12:5-11). The church has a solemn responsibility to restrain sin by proper discipline. If we do not exercise the judgment, the Lord will (1 Co. 11:31-32)”

(Paul R. Jackson, The Doctrine and Administration of the Church).