If you have the time, please read the article, but here are the facts:

a. Charles Lohn stole over $100,000 from his church (Shelbyville Mills Baptist) during his role as church administrator and minister of youth.
b. It was discovered that the church had no money left and Lohn was confronted. He lied initially.
c. The church called in professionals to investigate and that’s when they realized that over $100,00 was stolen from them by Lohn.
d. The church pressed charges and voted Lohn out of the membership.
e. Lohn went to jail for a 9 months.
f. While in jail, the church paid his mortgage (because his wife had no idea that her husband had been stealing). In fact, the wife and her children continued attending church during the process and during her husband’s incarceration.
g. Upon leaving jail, Lohn went through a “restoration” process where he repented before the church to be restored to the church.

“I stand before you today to say thank you for loving my family, for loving me. I also thank you for caring for and providing for my family even after everything I put you through.”

As part of the process for being restored to fellowship, Lohn met for about 16 months with two accountability groups, one of which dealt with finances and the other with spiritual issues.

And finally, the pastor said the following to the church:

“I call upon you to forgive and to forgive completely Bro. Charles,” the pastor said, noting that Lohn would be baptized in a few weeks.

When asked by a reporter why the public service was held, Sims noted that because Lohn was publicly disciplined by the church, he needed to be restored publicly.

“Because this was a highly publicized and reported sin, we felt the church as a whole needed to come publicly and declare we had forgiven him,” Sims said. “We wanted to be completely transparent.”

Question. What are your thoughts on churches restoring such people? The Apostle Paul kicked some incestuous adulterers out of his church and provided no restoration.

Do you believe that in some instances, such sinners should be restored to the church?



  1. There comes a time that some people need to be kicked out of the church and never allowed back in. If it is a issue of safety and the individual posses a threat, they should no be allowed back in. I think that guy should have been ordered to pay back the money he stole if he had not been ordered or had begun to do so.

  2. If the person has truly repented, then they should be restored to the church- but not to the pulpit. Paul’s use of the phrase “turn them over to Satan” was to let those that refused to repent understand that it is far worse to live in unrepentance and have Satan chastise you than it is to live in repentance and have the Lord chastise you. In the cases of sexual predators, only after repentance AND intense therapy to relieve them of that addiction. In the case of all else, once they have truly repented, it’s God’s church, not ours. Kicking folks out is for the ones that refuse to submit to God’s authority and would rather derail other Christians that are trying to live for Christ.

  3. Well if we are talking the church universal, that ordained by Christ, then God is the forgiver of sins and regardless of what other mortals feel, he who is free is free indeed.

    When we talk about the church local, that entity, that building that deals with people, souls, and earthly thing such as money that’s a different ballgame.

    Different circumstances call for different types of punishment, however in cases of molestation of minors and financial impropriety the confidence of those who are not strong in the faith will not be encouraged by what they may view as compromise. In the financial world you steal, embezzle or simply cannot account for, that is it, you do not get a chance to work in that industry again.

    It is good the church had compassion on his family. In this case it seems that conditions and measures were prescribed and he has complied. So in my opinion, once its not minor molestation, or embezzlement then it has to be case by case.

  4. We can make good choices based on what we understand from the bible, but I wonder what happened to the church that moved based on what the Holy Spirit says. In the book of Acts everything seemed to be preceeded by the moving/guiding/leading of the spirit.

  5. How many times am I to forgive? What did Christ reply?

    There is somewhere in the scriptures where the only unforgivable sin is mention. Was that Brother Charles’s sin? Don’t think so. In the world’s view, a crime stays with you even after you have served the punishment. You are now a felon. Jesus says that your sins are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness. Brother Charles, No Charge!

  6. Forgiving and putting them back into a position to commit more offences are not the same thing. If anything he owes the congregation money. A repentant person will remove themselves from the temptation not expose themselves to it. That’s like a man who loves strip clubs. A truely repentant one would never keep going there stuffing money down the women’s g-string knowing that is temptation.