Turning Murdoch Out: The Church Can’t Win

The call by the Christian Research Network for Rick Warren to "turn out" (to use the old expression) Rupert Murdoch from Saddleback Church is a great idea.  In theory.  The basic problem is that churches in the U.S. have become adverse to expelling anyone from the membership, and not entirely for reasons of their own making.

In the old days–especially in Pentecostal and Holiness churches–people were turned out for all kinds of reasons, such as makeup, jewellery, hair not the right length, and a wide variety of other infractions.  (Those of you who are following At the Inlet have a fictionalised example of this.)  But this became viewed as "judgemental," so churches quit doing this, even though the central reason churches turn out people is to insure that the rest of the membership does not become compromised themselves.  But now it’s even hard to turn people out for living together unmarried, and heaven help the church that tries to turn out a homosexual.

If the CRN and others want to facilitate churches cleansing their membership of pornographers and others with really serious moral problems, they can start by bucking the cultural and legal trend of legislating "tolerance" and against "hate crimes".  Then churches will be free to exercise the tough love of turning out without whining and lawsuits.

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