Question:

Hello,

I am a part-timeminister of a small congregation of Christians made up mostly of female members. The few male members have dwindled down tothree in number due to members relocating and deaths. Currently the two other male members are unable to take part in the worship services due to certain aspects of their lives. One only attends worship services on Sunday morning and does not attend Bible study on Sunday or Wednesday evening. I believe that according to the Scriptures that this is a willful forsaking of the assembly. The second man is also not faithful in attendance and also he wears his hair very long as in the manner of a female. I cannot call on these men to take part in the worship services and, therefore, I am the only one able to conduct the services.

The unfaithfulness of these two men has reached a point where it is causing friction in the church. It has come to a point where something needs to be done to correct the situation, but I am having trouble knowing which way to conduct the discipline that needs to be done. Being theonly faithful male member, how do I discipline these two individuals? I have no other male members to take with me to confront these two men as the Bible directs.

I have preached on these subjects with both of the men present. I have spoken to them privately about the issues in their lives and have tried to show them where they need to change. All of this with no success in resolving the issue.

My question is how do I proceed to the next step? How do I find two or three witnesses to confront these two individuals? Any insight or advice you could give me would be helpful.

I visit your website on a regular basis and it has always been very helpful to me in many ways. Thank you,and may God bless you for all of the good work that you do.


Answer:

"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector" (Matthew 18:15-17).

Notice that nothing in this passage indicates that only men can go to talk with someone. When Apollos was teaching something incorrectly it was Aquila and Priscilla who spoke with him (Acts 18:26). Nor do I know of a passage that says that when the church makes a decision that only the men are acting. See: Business Meetings.