For those who would turn our life together into a tribunal whereby we remove the troublesome and “sinful” from the church which is the body of Christ, I commend this quote from John Witte Jr. If there is a need for due process in the world around us as society, how much more should there be in the church? –
Luther also believed that the ominous assurance of the judgment of God is ultimately a source of comfort, not of fear. The first sinners in the Bible – Adam, Eve and Cain – were given divine due process: they were confronted with the evidence, asked to defend themselves, given a chance to repent, spared the ultimate sanction of death and then assured of a second trial on the Day of Judgment, with appointed divine counsel. The only time that God deliberately withheld divine due process, Luther reminds us, was in the capital trial of His Son – and that was the only time it was and has been necessary. The political implications of this are very simple: if God gives due process in judging us, we should give due process in judging others. If God’s tribunals feature at least basic rules of procedure, evidence, representation and advocacy, human tribunals should feature at least the same.