January 3, 2017 Editor

WN: Dean Davey sadly has snubbed his nose at accountability and acting honourably in response to his adultery and consequent breakdown of two marriages, impacting seven kids.

an excerpt from my reflection:

In response and conclusion, I offer a few considerations:

• Breaking church marriage promises and spinning related webs of deceit are a big deal for anyone claiming to follow the Way of the One who is also The Truth.

• Church discipline however is not about vindictiveness nor retribution. Though sadly it too often is and has been – with devastating consequences littering church history.

• Churches and their agencies should do far more due diligence about any former church/agency leader looking for work. “Are there unresolved skeletons in the closet?” should be a close-to-first concern. Ecclesia caveat – let the church beware, should be a primary watchword in all hirings.

• Church discipline should be about accountability, peacemaking and restoration – and huge celebration of such! The first principle of biblical ecclesiology in Matthew 18 is peacemaking, “where two or three are gathered together” in Jesus’ name for that purpose (with the contextual promise of Jesus’ presence to abet reconciliation). This is the church’s primary ministry. In John 17 church unity is the only evangelistic strategy given by Jesus. In Luke 15 there is repeated celebration of restoration, which is the essence of biblical justice.

• Church discipline is also about consistency of the wider church in response to known wrongdoing. Hence this article. The former pastor was still offering to volunteer coach for a long time, etc. at his kids’ Christian school, as if nothing had happened. Does the church have any business endorsing him in church leadership of any kind until he has done the difficult work of confession, repentance, showing accountability, pursuing reconciliation/amends-making and committing to “go and sin no more”? In his case, dozens of people are involved. He has a long road ahead before the wider church anywhere should again embrace him as a sinner saved by grace.

• All must acknowledge: “There but for the grace of God go I…” – indeed (Galatians 6:1 & 2)!

One of former Pastor Dean’s kids commented early on about this new family reality: “I don’t get it. When I do something wrong, I’m supposed to admit it, stop the behaviour, say I’m sorry, and make it right.”

Add (in this instance, since it was so public) public commitment to never do it again, and Amen! My former friend, you trained your kids well. Go and do likewise.

Please click on: “No Big Deal

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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