Home At Last--Dr. Pipim's Baptism

[NOTE: Below is (i) a statement released by Dr. Pipim on the occasion of his baptism (ii) a brief report, highlighting his home-coming celebration on June 20 & 21 2014, and (iii) his “thank you” letter to the Ann Arbor church.]   Thank You, Columbus Church   The journey has been long and painf...

Thought Nuggets

THOUGHT NUGGETS Dr. Pipim's Inspirational Quotes    NOTE: 1. Below are the weekly thought-nuggets, beginning with the latest to the earliest. You are welcome to quote and share the nuggets, provided you source them to Samuel Koranteng-Pipim and reference these websites: http://drpipim.org/thou...

Nigeria@54: Risky Republic or Republic At Risk?

Dr. Samuel Koranteng-Pipim's Keynote Address at the Inauguration of the "Circle of Hands" Foundation, Lagos State Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Alausa, Lagos, Nigeria, October 1, 2014. [NOTE:  Although speaking to the Nigerian context, the keynote address speaks to the larger issues of Pan Afr...

Update on Dr. Pipim's Resignation PDF  | Print |  E-mail

UPDATE ON DR. PIPIM’S RESIGNATION: 


Dr. Pipim resigned from the Michigan Conference on May 23, 2011 and made the news public on May 29 via the CAMPUS website  (www.campushope.com/resignation) and subsequently on this DRPIPIM.ORG site. The following update on his resignation consists of :
 
1. His June 12, 2011 letter to key African leaders (some of his colleagues in ministry on the continent and abroad), mentioning, among other things, why he chose to make his confession and resignation public.

2. His June 16, 2011 email to his former CAMPUS Team (and later to his local church family), explaining to them why he personally requested and submitted to church discipline. 

***********

LETTER TO AFRICAN LEADERS:
Update on Resignation


From: Samuel Koranteng-Pipim 
Date: June 12, 2011 1:34:54 PM EDT
To: My African Colleagues in Ministry
Subject: Thank You & Update

 
My Dear African Leaders
[Ministry Colleagues on the Continent and Abroad],
 
I thought I should give you a quick update. Exactly two weeks ago I notified you of my resignation from my present work, and subsequently issued my public announcement to the world via our CAMPUS website (www.campushope.com/resignation). As expected the news has been greeted with deep sorrow and pain among those who love the cause of God, and it has also given cause for our critics to do what they do best (although some of them have been generous).
 
As regards the youth, students, and young professionals who have been impacted by our ministry, their responses from around the globe have been more than I expected—or deserve. Despite the public humiliation, they have appreciated the candor and prompt manner in which the issue was handled and they have all pledged their prayers and support.  Many have urged me not to be discouraged to the point of abandoning the ministry and my work to young people. Others have urged me to quickly get back and continue to work in whatever line the Lord will reveal.
 
I want to thank you for your prayers and encouragement. Let all the faithful know that I'm in good spirits. I see this whole experience as God's efforts to save my life. Thus, my faith is stronger than ever before. And I'm more committed than ever to the cause of proclaiming the Three Angels' Messages. It's a stumble, not a fall. In God's own time I'll continue from where I left off.
 
As I've mentioned to many people, my public confession and resignation was an act of faith. It was consistent with the message of integrity and "faithful unto death" sermon series I've taught and preached. Moreover, the decision is an attempt to model what I teach. We must set good examples in both how we deal with our successes as well as our failures. Painful, though it has been, I pray it would be used by the Lord to bring about soul-searching, a distrust of ourselves, and a whole-hearted dependence on the Lord. By God's grace I'll rise again, and what was meant for evil could very well turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
 
Already, I'm beginning to see that the Lord will use even this incident to His glory. Judging from the reaction and responses I'm receiving, I don't think that any of my sermons or books has had as great an impact as this incident in calling for deep soul-searching and total surrender of self. . . .
 
Again, thanks for your continued prayers and support.
 
Sincerely,
Skp

***********

LETTER TO CAMPUS TEAM:
Why Dr. Pipim Requested & Submitted to Church Discipline 


From: Samuel Koranteng-Pipim 
Date: June 16, 2011 9:22:58 AM EDT
To: CAMPUS Team 
Subject: My Submission to Church Discipline
 
 
Dear Colleagues, Students, Friends, & Supporters:

On Wednesday, June 15, 2011, my local church took an action to discipline me. Below is a chronology of the events leading to the action, the nature of the disciplinary action, and my response to it. Thank you for your continued prayers. You are always in my prayers.
SKP

Submission to Church Discipline

On Sunday, May 29, I publicly announced my resignation as Director of Public Campus Ministries and from Michigan Conference employment. I did so via a message to my “Colleagues in Ministry” and “CAMPUS staff, etc.” (www.campushope.com/resignation). 

From Wednesday June 1- Wednesday June 8—Following the resignation announcement, I went on previously planned one-week vacation/retreat with seven members of our CAMPUS personnel.

On Tuesday June 7, towards the end of the one-week vacation/retreat, I sent an email to my Conference President, requesting a prompt disciplinary action from my local church. By a copy of that email, I also informed my close friends, family members, and CAMPUS Team of the necessity for this important, but oft-neglected, biblical teaching and practice (see APPENDIX I)

On Thursday, June 9, following my return from the vacation/retreat, I met with my local church pastor for prayers and discussed the need for a prompt disciplinary action. 

On Friday, June 10, I wrote to my local church (via my church pastor), formally submitting myself to the disciplinary action of the church.” (see APPENDIX II)
NOTE: When disciplinary measures must be taken, there are two ways by which the church does this:
     1. By a vote of censure—whereby the church member is put on probation for a stated period of time, from a minimum of one month to a maximum of twelve months. At the expiry of that period, if the church member’s conduct is satisfactory, that person is automatically considered in regular standing without further action.
     2. By a vote to disfellowship or remove from church membership—this is the ultimate in the discipline that the church can administer. The person so disciplined can only be re-admitted into the church after a rebaptism, when it is evident that the individual’s life is consistent with church standards.
     3. Thus, when I formally requested church discipline, I essentially expressed my willingness to accept whatever action the church would decide—whether censorship or disfellowship. (For reasons for which church members shall be disciplined, see APPENDIX III)
On Wednesday, June 15—at a duly-called business meeting, my local church voted to subject me to church discipline. 
[NOTE: I had left it totally up to the church to decide on whether the discipline should be a censorship or a disfellowship. I believe that the decision the church took was the right one, although many feel otherwise (some even didn't think I should have resigned, let alone be disciplined). Among other things, my reason for believing that disfellowship was preferable to censorship is that disfellowship is the severest form of discipline the church can subject a person. Given my influence in the church, anything short of disfellowship might have been interpreted as a slap on the wrist. Moreover, at a time when this biblical teaching and practice is being watered down in certain quarters of our church, it is important to call attention to this teaching by subjecting myself to this biblical imperative. We should preach the gospel, not only when we are on the mountaintop, but also when we are in the valley. Perhaps, my willing submission to the disfellowship may also help members overcome their own fears or shame of church discipline--unfortunate situations which have tended to undermine true repentance and confession and which have contributed to secrecy and cover-ups in dealing with sin in the church.
 
The following is my formal response to my local church’s action.  I communicated this in writing, through my local church pastor, on June 16, a day after the church voted to discipline me. In addition to expressing my willing submission to the discipline, my formal response also included relevant Appendices, explaining (i) my reasons for requesting prompt church discipline (APPENDIX I &II), and (ii) the reasons why a church member should be disciplined (as set forth in our Church Manual--APPENDIX III).] 

My Response

I am grateful to the Ann Arbor church for its prompt action on this vital aspect of church life. By subjecting me to this disciplinary action, the local church shows that we cannot afford to deal lightly with sin—any sin—and that, no personal considerations should affect its decision to uphold biblical standards or teachings set by God. 

I willingly accept the discipline of my church family as an expression of its love for me, and its desire to work towards my spiritual renewal and restoration (cf. Hebrews 12:5-11). By subjecting me to the severest form of church discipline, I understand the church to be calling me to the highest standards of spiritual excellence—a biblical principle I have taught by voice and by pen. This principle still applies, even though I failed to live by it. 

Though disfellowshipped, I still subscribe to the biblical teachings and mission of the church, and I purpose to employ my personal efforts to advance the cause. I look forward to the day when, through re-baptism, I can be restored to full and regular standing within the church.  To this end, I solicit your heartfelt prayers.

For those who may question the necessity of such discipline, even when a person is repentant and has made public confession, I can only refer to God’s discipline of Moses and Aaron when they sinned against God by striking the rock (Numbers 20:1-13). Here are some relevant insights from Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 37, pp. 411-421:
     “Bitter and deeply humiliating was the judgment immediately pronounced. “The Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed Me not, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” . . . The Lord accepted their repentance, though because of the harm their sin might do among the people, He could not remit its punishment. {PP 419.1}
     “The eyes of all Israel were upon Moses, and his sin cast a reflection upon God, who had chosen him as the leader of His people. The transgression was known to the whole congregation; and had it been passed by lightly, the impression would have been given that unbelief and impatience under great provocation might be excused in those in responsible positions. But when it was declared that because of that one sin Moses and Aaron were not to enter Canaan, the people knew that God is no respecter of persons, and that He will surely punish the transgressor. {PP 420.1}
     “The history of Israel was to be placed on record for the instruction and warning of coming generations. Men of all future time must see the God of heaven as an impartial ruler, in no case justifying sin. But few realize the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Men flatter themselves that God is too good to punish the transgressor. But in the light of Bible history it is evident that God’s goodness and His love engage Him to deal with sin as an evil fatal to the peace and happiness of the universe. {PP 420.2}
     “Not even the integrity and faithfulness of Moses could avert the retribution of his fault. God had forgiven the people greater transgressions, but He could not deal with sin in the leaders as in those who were led. He had honored Moses above every other man upon the earth. He had revealed to him His glory, and through him He had communicated His statutes to Israel. The fact that Moses had enjoyed so great light and knowledge made his sin more grievous. Past faithfulness will not atone for one wrong act. The greater the light and privileges granted to man, the greater is his responsibility, the more aggravated his failure, and the heavier his punishment. {PP 420.3}
     “Moses was not guilty of a great crime, as men would view the matter; his sin was one of common occurrence. The psalmist says that “he spake unadvisedly with his lips.” Psalm 106:33. To human judgment this may seem a light thing; but if God dealt so severely with this sin in His most faithful and honored servant, He will not excuse it in others. The spirit of self-exaltation, the disposition to censure our brethren, is displeasing to God. Those who indulge in these evils cast doubt upon the work of God, and give the skeptical an excuse for their unbelief. The more important one’s position, and the greater his influence, the greater is the necessity that he should cultivate patience and humility. {PP 420.4}
     “. . . There is not an impulse of our nature, not a faculty of the mind or an inclination of the heart, but needs to be, moment by moment, under the control of the Spirit of God. There is not a blessing which God bestows upon man, nor a trial which He permits to befall him, but Satan both can and will seize upon it to tempt, to harass and destroy the soul, if we give him the least advantage. Therefore however great one’s spiritual light, however much he may enjoy of the divine favor and blessing, he should ever walk humbly before the Lord, pleading in faith that God will direct every thought and control every impulse." {PP 421.1}
The disciplining of Moses did not mean he would not be saved. After his death on Mt. Pisgah, he was resurrected by Christ and taken to heaven (cf. Jude 9; Matthew 17:1-9).
      “Never, till exemplified in the sacrifice of Christ, were the justice and the love of God more strikingly displayed than in His dealings with Moses. God shut Moses out of Canaan, to teach a lesson which should never be forgotten—that He requires exact obedience, and that men are to beware of taking to themselves the glory which is due to their Maker. He could not grant the prayer of Moses that he might share the inheritance of Israel, but He did not forget or forsake His servant. The God of heaven understood the suffering that Moses had endured; He had noted every act of faithful service through those long years of conflict and trial. On the top of Pisgah, God called Moses to an inheritance infinitely more glorious than the earthly Canaan. {PP 479.2}
     “Upon the mount of transfiguration Moses was present with Elijah, who had been translated. They were sent as bearers of light and glory from the Father to His Son. And thus the prayer of Moses, uttered so many centuries before, was at last fulfilled. He stood upon the “goodly mountain,” within the heritage of his people, bearing witness to Him in whom all the promises to Israel centered. Such is the last scene revealed to mortal vision in the history of that man so highly honored of Heaven." {PP 479.3}
From God’s dealings with Moses, we learn that church discipline does not necessarily mean a person is lost. Nor is it the end of a person’s ministry or usefulness to God’s cause. Discipline simply means that the Lord (and the church, the body of Christ) disapprove of the person’s sin and desire that individual (and the church family) to a renewed commitment to Christ. 

I pray that my submission to the biblical teaching of church discipline will accelerate the process of my own spiritual renewal and that, although painful, it will ultimately prove to be a blessing—as promised in Hebrews 12:5-11:
 5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
   “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,

      and don’t give up when he corrects you.
 
    6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,

      and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. (Hebrews 12:5-11; New Living Translation)

Local Church’s Response

On Thursday, June 16, 2011, I sent this response document (with the attached Appendices) to my CAMPUS Team, close friends, and family members. I also shared the response document with my local Ann Arbor church pastor and a senior (honorary) elder of the church, (a former Dean of the Theological Seminary at Andrews University). All three of us felt that reading my response to the church would be beneficial. 

Thus, on Sabbath, June 18, 2011, during the divine service hour, the senior elder, on behalf of the church pastor who was then at camp meeting, read to the entire church my response, willingly accepting the disciplinary action of the church. For the sake of members who were not in church on June 18, my entire response document was emailed later that day to the members of my local church. The email to the church members included the following note that my church pastor had sent to me, when he first acknowledged receipt of my June 16 letter: 
  From: Danny Velez (Local Church Pastor)
  Date: June 16, 2011 4:59:59 PM EDT
  To: Samuel Koranteng-Pipim 
  Subject: RE: Church Discipline

  Hello Dr. Pipim,

  It is a testament to the work of God in your life and heart that you are accepting the discipline of the church with such grace and integrity.  As I stated to you over the phone, it was not an easy decision.  You have, however, expressed it correctly and [accepted that the church discipline was an] action of Love for you and the cause that you championed.  I can only imagine what God has in store for you and your family but I know that you will continue to be a voice for the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

  I am in agreement with [the senior elder] to have your letter read to the church.  I think that this will serve to unite the church through this painful ordeal, (We are all suffering with you).  May I also send this letter via e-mail to the membership at large? [NB: I subsequently gave the permission for him to do so, and this was done on June 18 when church members were sent my entire response document] I think that it would be good to make sure that everyone can have access to it in case they are at camp meeting or not able to attend church this week.  Let me know.  Please know that my family is praying for yours and if there is anything that we or I can do for you during this time we will be more than happy to do it.

 In the Blessed Hope,
  Danny Velez, Pastor


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APPENDIX  I
My Reasons for Prompt Church Discipline


From: Samuel Koranteng-Pipim 
Date: June 7, 2011 3:08:53 PM EDT
To: Jay Gallimore (President, Michigan Conference)
Cc: Micheff Jr (Executive Secretary, Michigan Conference)
Subject: An Urgent Request

Dear Eld. Gallimore,
 
By God’s grace the one-week vacation/retreat is proving to be a blessing. It has bonded our CAMPUS staff together and has given us a renewed sense of purpose. This is a follow-up to our brief conversation I had with you shortly before we left for the retreat. This is in reference to church discipline. I know it's not up to me to decide, but I thought I should at least express where I'm coming from. The one-week reflection has made it even more clear to me.  A little background is in order.
 
It has been a very long and agonizing week since I turned in my resignation exactly one week ago, and since [I] subsequently issued my public announcement to the world via the message to my colleagues in ministry and our CAMPUS staff. As expected the news has been greeted with sorrow and pain among those who love the cause of God, and it has given cause for our critics to do what they do best.
 
Also, despite the pain and public shame, I’ve been greatly encouraged by the young people around the globe. They have understood what is at stake in the great controversy and have been challenged to step up in the good fight of faith. They have also appreciated the candor and prompt manner in which we handled this issue. I wish I could share with you the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of emails I’ve received, pledging their prayers and support.  Many of them have urged me not to be discouraged to the point of abandoning the ministry and my work to young people. Others have urged me to quickly get back and continue to fight in whatever line the Lord will reveal.
 
As I’ve prayerfully reflected on the situation, I feel strongly that this tragedy and moral failure must also summon us to display the beauty of one aspect of our biblical teachings. We cannot do so half-way. Yes, I’ve made things right with God, my family, the other person involved, my employers, loved ones, etc. I have also voluntarily withdrawn myself from all speaking engagements. However, there’s still another area that requires prompt and immediate action—namely, in the area of church discipline. This aspect is also part of biblical teaching. I know that two of us are in agreement on this, but let me explain why it is necessary for me to be disciplined:
 
1. The urge (out of love by thousands of young people) for me to continue public speaking will not help the cause of God in the long run. It will give a false impression that sin is to be lightly treated, sending a mixed message to our people. Why? Many of our brothers and sisters, who still believe in the Church Manual, will fail to understand. It will be taken as double standard and [as] playing down the gravity of sin and lowering the standard of the church to suit the culture and the trend of the modern society. Some of our liberal friends will seize upon this and excuse their own permissive lifestyle as acceptable. [Similarly, those with "offshoot" streaks will use it to justify their warped view that ours is not the true Remnant Church.]
 
2. Those of us who have been at the forefront in setting public standards should be expected to uphold it. Thus, a moral failure, such as mine, requires church discipline or censorship. At a time when this vital aspect of ecclesiology is being watered down, we must use my tragic experience to teach our young people—and the church at large—the importance and value of church discipline. Of course it is up to the local church to decide the nature of the discipline, taking into consideration all the necessary factors and the attitude of the erring one. But if we skip this important aspect of church life, the impact of my resignation message of accountability and transparency will be weakened, if not lost on many people. Besides, I want to be able to speak clearly on the theological necessity of church discipline in the future---after my restoration---and illustrate it with lessons from the perspective of a person who has actually experienced church discipline.

3. Failure to go through with church discipline will also create a lot of discussion, causing people to take sides (for or against) and leaving me caught in the middle of the controversy. This is not necessary, and it is not the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. As I’ve articulated in my book Healed Wounds, but Ugly Scars, choices have consequences, and church discipline is one of such consequences. I have already lost my job—something I lived for; I have also lost my source of livelihood, my medical insurance at a time when the family needs it most, and I have damaged my credibility—at least in the eyes of those who don't appreciate what it takes to publicly take ownership of one's mistakes. However all these losses will be negligible when compared with a loss of sound biblical teaching on church discipline.
 
4. Church discipline formalizes my decision to withdraw from public view. There are many who are honestly convinced that my public confession, remorse for my sin, and forsaking it is enough, and that I should not even have resigned. Some among them will argue that I should not be silent in proclaiming the Word of God. Based on Elijah’s experience, I see a place for a very limited quiet ministry—as he did after his fall, teaching in the schools of the prophets at Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho, etc. 2 Kings 2. . . . However, this should be distinguished from public ministry. When Moses made a mistake, he decided to opt for silence and his coming back was so eloquent. It is better to observe a moment of silence and self-examination. That period of silence is needed by myself and by the church at large. When my spiritual walls are rebuilt, when my strength is renewed, I will come back stronger and will be of greater blessing again. The point is: We have started the right way, in our public confession and resignation from employment; let us finish the process with church discipline. As an African proverb says, “If you’re going to be bald on your head, your baldness must as well extend to your neck.”
 
5. If you see wisdom in my thoughts above, I think it would be necessary for the Michigan Conference to encourage my local Ann Arbor church to expedite the process by subjecting me to church discipline this week—certainly before we go for camp meeting [June 17-25, 2011]. A prompt and decisive action is the best way to go. Young people will appreciate it and it will send a clear message to the church regarding what we still believe. My work with young people has taught me that, whereas adults are afraid to take radical stands for the Lord, the youth are willing to go all the way.
 
6. All through my life and especially during my ministry I have sought, to the best of my ability, to do God’s will—regardless of consequences. You are well-aware of the high price I have paid in the church, simply for upholding sound biblical teaching—especially on the controversial, politically-correct subjects. Now is not the time to drop the ball. Even my failure should be an occasion to glorify the Lord. I know you’d agree with me on this point. I have taught young people to NOT expect anything less. They’d appreciate it even more, and their confidence in the church will be greatly increased. For the sake of the young people I love, let’s follow through on this.
 
7. A revival has already begun in the church—especially among young people. Let’s not do anything to kill it or slow it down. Failure to go all the way will certainly short-circuit the process and will deprive us of God’s blessings. Because of sin or disobedience to the Lord we experience God’s wrath. Hence He is unable to bless us, as much as He would have wanted to. This is what David says in Psalm 85:4-6
 
            4 Restore us again, O God our Savior,
                        and put away your displeasure toward us.
            5 Will you be angry with us forever?
                        Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
            6 Will you not revive us again,
                        that your people may rejoice in you?
 
But with true revival, there is no longer the displeasure of God. (vv. 4, 5). Instead of God’s wrath, we experience the joy of His glorious presence (v. 6) which “shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth” (Psalm 72:6). I want to see this happen in the church—certainly among the young people who are at the forefront of this work.
 
Thanks, Eld. Gallimore, for your spiritual leadership of the Michigan Conference. Only eternity will reveal how much we all owe to you for your faithfulness. Consider this email as my formal request for church discipline. We should not delay the process. This is why I plead that it be done before we go for camp meeting [June 17-25, 2011]. Such an action will speed up the healing process at my end and will send the clearest message that we want to do the right thing. 

I will be more than willing to discuss this further with you when I return. Thanks for understanding. 

Sincerely,
skp
[NOTE: The above message, arguing for a PROMPT disciplinary action, was sent to my Conference President on June 7, towards the end of a one-week vacation/retreat with my CAMPUS staff. Upon our return from the retreat on the night of June 8, I met with my local church pastor on the night of June 9 to discuss the necessity of a prompt church discipline. Like my Conference President, my local church pastor  was also  fully supportive of my request as fully consistent with our Church Manual. Thus, the next day, June 10, I submitted my formal request for church discipline to my local church (see below).]
 
******************

APPENDIX  II
My Formal Request for Church Discipline
 
 
From: Samuel Koranteng-Pipim 
Date: June 10, 2011 3:34:06 AM EDT
To: Daniel Velez (Local Church Pastor)
Subject: Letter to Ann Arbor Church
 
 
Dear Ann Arbor SDA Church Family:
 
I am by this email formally expressing to you, my Ann Arbor Church family, my heartfelt apology for letting you all down, and also [formally] submitting myself to the disciplining action of the church. This was never what I sought for myself, nor the cause I labored to uphold. I trust that you’d not only find it in your hearts to forgive me, but you’d also keep my family and I in your prayers.
 
As the church exercises this solemn responsibility, I pray that the Lord will use this sad experience to warn all of His children about the lurking dangers of temptation and to caution us to greater vigilance. Above all, I pray that the soul-searching that is taking place in connection with my resignation will spark or fuel the ongoing revival in the church.
 
The attached 3-page letter contains my announcement to my colleagues in ministry and my letter of resignation to the Michigan Conference Executive Committee. (The same information is available on our CAMPUS website: http://campushope.com/resignation/). [See it also on the DRPIPIM.ORG site: http://drpipim.org/resignation/147-resignation-letter.html]
 
I genuinely appreciate your prayers on our behalf, and your respect of our privacy as we take some time for personal and family spiritual renewal.
 
Sincerely
Samuel Koranteng-Pipim


******************
APPENDIX  III
Reasons for Which Members Shall Be Disciplined 

For those who may not be aware of church standards with respect to church discipline, I reproduce below a relevant section from our Church Manual [2010], (from chapter 7,  “Discipline,” pp. 61-63): 


“Among the grievous sins for which members shall be subject to church discipline are the following:

1. Denial of faith in the fundamentals of the gospel and in the fundamental beliefs of the church or teaching doctrines contrary to the same.

2. Violation of the law of God, such as worship of idols, murder, stealing, profanity, gambling, Sabbathbreaking, and willful and habitual falsehood.

3. Violation of the seventh commandment of the law of God as it relates to the marriage institution, the Christian home, and biblical standards of moral conduct.
 
      4. Sexual abuse of children, youth, and vulnerable adults, fornication, promiscuity, incest, homosexual practice, the production, use, or distribution of pornography, and other sexual perversions. 

5. Remarriage of a divorced person, except of the spouse who has remained faithful to the marriage vow in a divorce for adultery or for sexual perversions.

6. Physical violence, including violence within the family.

7. Fraud or willful misrepresentation in business.

8. Disorderly conduct which brings reproach upon the church.

9. Adhering to or taking part in a divisive or disloyal movement or organization. (See p. 59)

10. Persistent refusal to recognize properly constituted church authority or to submit to the order and discipline of the church.

11. The use, manufacture, or sale of alcoholic beverages.

12. The use, manufacture, or sale of tobacco in any of its forms for human consumption.

13. The use, manufacture of illicit drugs or the misuse of, or trafficking in, narcotics or other drugs.
 
 
Process of Discipline 
 
When grievous sins are involved, the church has two ways in which disciplinary measures must be taken:
 
1. By a vote of censure.
 
2. By a vote to remove from membership.
 
 
Discipline by Censure---In cases where the offense is not considered by the church to be so serious as to warrant the extreme course of removing membership, the church may express its disapproval by a vote of censure.
 
Censure has two purposes: (1) To enable the church to express its disapproval of a grievous offense that has brought disgrace upon the cause of God and (2) to impress offending members with the need for a change of life and reformation of conduct and to give them a period of grace and probation during which to make those changes.
 
A vote of censure is for a stated period of from a minimum of one month to a maximum of 12 months. It terminates an erring member's election or appointment to all offices and removes the privilege of election while it is in effect. . . .
 
. . . Assessment should be made at the expiration of the period of censure to determine whether the disciplined members have changed course. If their conduct is satisfactory, they may then be considered in regular standing without further action and shall be notified that the censure has ended. If their conduct is not satisfactory, the church again should consider appropriate discipline. Any return to church office must be by election.
 
 
Discipline by Removal from Membership---Removing individuals from membership in the church, the body of Christ, is the ultimate discipline that the church can administer. Only after the instruction given in this chapter has been followed, after counsel from the pastor or the conference when the pastor is unavailable, and after all possible efforts have been made to win and restore them to right paths, should an individual be removed from membership.
 
No Additional Tests of Fellowship---No minister, congregation, or conference has authority to establish tests of fellowship. This authority rests with the General Conference Session. Anyone seeking to apply tests other than those herein set forth does not, therefore, properly represent the Church. (See 1T 207).
 
Timeliness in the Disciplinary Process---The church must care for the disciplinary process within a reasonable time and then communicate its decisions with kindness and promptness. Delay in administering discipline may increase the frustration and suffering of the member and church itself" 
 
 
(Taken from Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual [2010], chapter 7, titled  “Discipline,” pp. 61-63).