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 Vol. 5, No. 6 

June 2003

Since You Asked

~ Page 20 ~

Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld.

typewriter Church Discipline

By Louis Rushmore

There are some passages of scripture that, to me, are as "plain as the nose on your face", and I Cor 5:9-13 is just such a passage.  Based on this passage, I feel the person involved should be withdrawn from since the biblical teachings and warnings have not been heeded.  I have been told that this is not necessary because this person quit being in Christ when they left their spouse years ago.  I don't see the connection between what I feel and what I was told.  Am I misunderstanding the teaching in I Cor 5:9-13? ~ Name Withheld by Editor

Several articles in the "Archive" of Gospel Gazette Online treat the biblical topic of church discipline.

There is perhaps no other Bible doctrine more widely ignored in the churches of Christ than the responsibility of the Lord's church to police itself -- and it shows in faulty Christian living, poor attendance of the assemblies and a general carelessness respecting our discipleship! The Lord adds the saved to his church (Acts 2:47), and the Lord, through his disciples doing his will, removes impenitent, erring Christians from the fellowship of the church. There is abundant Bible authority for exercising church discipline when necessary. However, there is not Bible authority for assuming that erring Christians remove themselves from church's responsibility toward them either by the sinner's sins or by absenting themselves from the assemblies of the church.Image

Ham's Sin

By Louis Rushmore

Image Does the Bible indicate what it was that Noah knew that Ham had done to him when he awoke from his wine in Gen. 9:24?

The surrounding verses relevant to the question are as follows.

"And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren" (Genesis 9:20-25).

The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament supposes that Ham's sin was glorying in the shame of his father, compounded by proclaiming Noah's shame to his two siblings. Adam Clarke in his commentary notes, "Ham, and very probably his son Canaan, had treated their father on this occasion with contempt or reprehensible levity." The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, likewise, attributes to Ham levity over the shame of Noah. James Burton Coffman, in his commentary, relates that Ham's son Canaan, who received the curse, had viewed Noah in his uncovered condition, whereas Ham had gossiped about it. (The word "son" may refer to one's grandson. Ham was not the youngest son of Noah.) Some commentators suppose that some sort of sexual sin is implied or something else was done to Noah, which when Noah awakened, he could discern. Still other commentators suppose that Noah learned of whatever transpired by being informed as to what occurred.Image

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