FORM OF DISCIPLINE
The method and form of discipline in Baptist churches are democratic and should be rigidly enforced. The Bible is the only faith and code of laws, and Baptist churches are its only exponents. A Baptist church has absolute power within itself to discipline its members, to punish heresy, wrong-living and evil-doing. From the local Baptist church (there are no other kinds) there is no appeal to a higher church-court or tribunal, for the very good reason that such higher courts do not exist. No association, convention, board of ruling elders, nor school of bishops has the power to set aside or reverse the decision of a Baptist church. In this manner, Baptists declare, trouble in one church, or with one member, or with one pastor, can neither injure the denomination as a whole, nor should it bring about strife within the councils of the faith.
The disciplining of a member is the church's business and takes place in and through the local church itself. Any member of a congregation has a right, if he has knowledge of his guilt, to bring charges against any other member. Of course, such charges must be based upon some violation of Scriptural law, or denominational doctrine as based upon a "thus saith the Lord" in His Word.
From Church Discipline by Lester Stewart Walker, 1913--1982
A revision of Walker's work by E. C. Gillentine is available from Bogard Press.