~ A place to find answers to gnawing spiritual questions ~
Question: Our pastor, and the church as well, were deeply hurt by a former member who was rebellious and who also attempted to sow division because she did not like to submit to men (the result of two failed marriages). She left the church because she felt a time of confrontation was coming and quickly joined another church. Should the elders of our church inform that new church of what's there for its own safety or just leave the matter alone?
This is a good question. Interestingly enough, I have dealt with a similar problem. Certainly, we are in agreement that this is wrong behavior. However, for the safety of the church elders, I think you need to consider the legal ramifications. Can this person bring charges of slander if you pass on such information. I would think you need to be sure you have strong proof of any accusations. (It sounds as though you do).
What kind of relationship do the two pastors have? Do they share information confidentially?
This is sort of one of my "hobby horses". I feel that pastors need to confront these kinds of issues, and after a person gets through church hopping and sees we will not tolerate their sin, perhaps they'll seek genuine repentance. Another thought is that when you deal with these individuals, their sin does eventually catch up with them. It won't take long for the new group to realize the type person this is. How long was she at your church? Was she always a problem? What had been done to deal with her?
One of the things our Baptist folks have in place that most of our independent groups do not, is requiring a referral letter if they move from one church to another. They cannot become a member of another church group if they are not in good standing with the church they leave.
You did not go into how she had been dealt with before. Hopefully, confrontation did take place with witnesses. We do understand the scriptural principle applying here is one on one confrontation followed by the two to three witnesses and then the church. Restoration would be a wonderful thing, but that is not always possible. Many refuse discipline.
I hope these few thoughts will help. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts in this situation. God Bless you!