Matt Chandler Expresses Remorse and Asks Forgiveness in Sunday Sermon

ChandlerScreenCapToday, amid the storm of controversy over the church’s handling of Jordan Root and Karen Hinkley, Matt Chandler expressed remorse over the church elders’ general approach to church discipline. I wrote about this matter in a prior post.
Video of the sermon is on the church website and Vimeo below.
[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/129371788[/vimeo]
 
 
Chandler spent much of the message talking about handling conflict between believers. He said (at 24 minutes and following) the matter of church discipline is serious because at the final stage of church discipline, when a church releases a member, the church is saying, “We are no longer able to affirm that you are a believer in Christ.”
One of the reasons I don’t like detailed covenant statements for members is that some people disagree over doctrine and if a member doesn’t come into line, the church is put in the position of saying explicitly or by implication, because you don’t agree with us, we can’t affirm you as a believer.
Chandler said that the process of evaluating church discipline began several months ago. As a result, Chandler said the elders decided that they had “failed to fulfill our covenant promises to you as members to lovingly exercise church discipline when necessary” and asked the audience to forgive the elders.
He said there are five specific things which require forgiveness:
Will you forgive us where our counsel turned into control?
Will you forgive us where we failed to recognize the limits and scope of our authority?
Will you forgive us where we allowed our policies and process to blind us to your pain, confusion and fears?
Will you forgive us where we acted transactionally rather than tenderly?
Will you forgive us where we failed to recognize you as the victim and didn鈥檛 empathize with your situation?
I’ll bet that was hard for Chandler to do. Now comes the harder work.
If these matters are being taken up with individuals, then I think this is a major step forward. It is hard not to compare to Mars Hill Church’s response to similar concerns, and in that comparison, Chandler’s approach is much better and more to the point.