In this modern era, where it has become accepted dogma for pastors and teachers to focus on the practical places where people itch, there is too little knowledge of the church’s theological foundations. Thus, it is not surprising that strange ides often pop up or that people import a great deal of their secular cultural values into forming theological opinions. As a result, the first practical thing churches can do to prevent the need for church discipline is to teach theology, to provide a theological framework for people so that they themselves will be able to evaluate error and reject it. If no criteria of theological orthodoxy are taught or known by a congregation, how can people spot unbiblical ideas? This process of preparing for and teaching the congregation will keep church leaders from straying from the truth and needing church discipline.
Dr. Gary Smith Professor of Christian Studies Union University Commentary on Amos 7:7-17