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Purpose of Church Discipline

C. H. Mackintosh, in his Notes on the Pentateuch written in the 1800's, discusses church discipline in his commentary on Numbers 5:3 - "that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell." Some oppose church discipline since a perfect church in this world is impossible anyway. He replies, "It is not the presence of judged evil that defiles, but the allowance and sanction of evil." That is, a church is not defiled by having sinners in the church; it is defiled by allowing sin to remain among the congregation without responding to it.