Church Membership & Disipline

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Paladin, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Paladin

    Paladin
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    Is it a common practice for a Baptist Church to accept anyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ, without regard to their situation in life? To be blunt, if someone is involved in known, unrepentant sin (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, alcoholism, etc) should they be accepted into church membership with no questions asked?

    The church I attend, recently accepted a couple into membership who are currently living together and plan on getting married in June. I put two and two together about the couple after they were accepted. Have since come to learn that people in the church knew of their relationship before acceptance and had no problem with it. I was flabbergasted and still am today.

    One member told me that the Bible might say it's wrong, but who am I to judge them. Our church, the one I attend has serious spiritual problems and when someone who takes membership seriously is a significant minority in the church, NASA we have a problem.

    We should welcome and love all who wish to worship with us, but if they seek membership they need to have shown repentance and turn away from their sinful lifestyle. The church appears way too liberal for me and I am seriously considering resigning from the church. Should I undertake this step or stay and work to change hearts and minds by being involved in strong discipleship and bible study programs?

    For the record, the church is without a pastor, we have a young man, who is our interim pastor. Also, we have no constitution or by-laws in place. Major concern!

    Any guidance or counsel that can be provided will be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to pm me.
     
  2. billreber

    billreber
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    Suggestions, guidance, or counsel? Sorry, I have none.

    Prayer? I will definitely be in prayer about this church! Only through prayer and repentance can we do anything. 2 Chronicles 7:14!

    In Christ,

    Bill
     
  3. TaterTot

    TaterTot
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    What you described isnt common in our church (SBC). We welcome them to come to church, but people in those types of situations arent presented for membership. We have accepted some to be under the watchcare of the church. Kinda like saying we are gonna support them wholeheartedly as they seek to straighten out their lives.
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    I do appreciate your concern for standards in the church. Standards and discipline are biblical.(Matthew 18)

    When I first began pastoring I ran into a problem with a deacons wife who always worked against what I did and created constant problems. I called Dr. Jim Henry of FBC Orlando and counseled with him about it. It was his counsel that I should follow the steps in Matt 18 all the way to dismissing her from fellowship if she would not repent.

    If you were to leave I have my doubts that you will find another church that would do any different. Churches today typically do not hold to doctrines of accountability and discipline in the church. But you might want to look around.

    As far as not having a constitution and by-laws, I would not be concerned. The constitution and by-laws came about as a result of incorporating. Over the years churches seem to have relied on them over scripture. Constitutions and by-laws are not necessary and are not biblical.
     
  5. Shiloh

    Shiloh
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    My advice.......look for another church.
     
  6. MikeinGhana

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    The constitution should simply be an explanation of scriptural principles. The by-laws should simply be the churches way of expressing how they will carry out their commission in light of these Biblical principles. The constitution and by-laws are not unscriptural they are ascriptural. They can be very helpful if any legal problems arise.
     
  7. webdog

    webdog
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    Paladin, how did the church "accept" them for membership?

    The church I was raised in, if a visitor wanted to become a member...even after the first visit...they would be presented in front of the church for a "vote". Of course everyone would vote "yes", and they would be a new addition to the church. You would only know they professed to be saved, but would not know anything else about them. One time a person was "voted" into membership who "professed" faith, and it turned out after six months, they started to poison the church with occult garbage. This is the problem with congregationally ran churches.

    The current church I am in, if you want to become a member, you fill out a detailed application including a detailed experience of how and when you were saved, what is expected of a member including how and where they can serve based on their giftedness. You then sit before the elders for an interview. They call you later in the day to inform you whether or not you have been accepted. You know exactly what you are getting in a member, or at least you have been accountable as to the process involved. The elders have a great responsibility in leading a church, and they will be held more accountable than the congregation, so they better be detailed in who they allow to become full members. I believe this would be the correct way to add members for service in a church.
     
  8. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    We have had couples in this situation come to us and get saved. They are not orffered membership until after they get married, and most have.
     
  9. PJ

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    Paladin, this is not common in our church (SBC). These folk are placed under watchcare and counsel until the situation has been remedied. Membership can then be offered. [​IMG]
     
  10. Johnv

    Johnv
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    I'm loathe to have churches simply accept everyone form membeship regardless of their state of sin, then again, I'm more loathe to have churches turn people away for the same reason, for it would mean a lot of empty pews. All of us have unrepentant sin from time to time, so we need to be very careful when disqualifying people on this issue so as not to be hypocrites.
     

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