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?