Church Membership Required ?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by dan53, May 20, 2003.

  1. dan53

    dan53
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    Here's one for ya.... Without utilizing
    Hebrews 10:24-25; give some scriptural documentation that membership in the local church is required. Where does it say we must join a local church ? :D :D :cool: :cool: [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Bible-boy

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    Well...

    I don't know if I can answer your question off the top of my head. However, 1 Cor. 6 tells us not to sue our fellow Christians in courts of law, but take the issue before the church. If we are not members of a local church how could we take such issue before them? I mean, the members of the local church hearing the case would need to know us, our character, and the issues involved. Likewise, how would we apply Matt. 18:15-20? If we were not members of a local church what church would we involve in an issue of church discipline (Matt. 18:17)?

    Likewise, Romans is full of statements that direct us to care for one another, be subject to one another, etc. if we are not members of a local church who would be these "one anothers"?

    Additionally, Acts 2:40-47 shows the development of a vital local church made of local members who met daily. Here we see that the new believers were gathered into an organized group of people that did four things. They continued in the apostle's doctrine (preaching of the Word), fellowship (spending time together), breaking bread (communion/Lord's Supper), and praying (Acts 2:42). These are four things that all New Testament churches must do. Finally, look at all of Paul's epistles most are addressed to a local church somewhere, even the Pastoral Epistles where written to provide guidance for a local church.
     
  3. christine

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    As a child, my mom was a member of our church, but as an adult I have never been a member of any church.
    I go to church every week, but I have never felt the need to be a member. I'm saved and baptized, that makes me a member of "the church", meaning the saved. That's the only membership I need. I don't need to dedicate myself to a building and a group of people.
    Christine
     
  4. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I have belonged to a church ever since I got saved and baptized. I believe in the local body. They are my Christian family and they are there for me and I try to be there for them.

    I don't know if it is a 'law' or not; but I certainly wouldn't want to fight the world and Satan everyday without their spiritual support. And I believe EVERYONE needs a Pastor...including the Pastor!

    How can you be part of a 'body' if you are disconnected? My arm or leg wouldn't do me much good if it was not attached. :confused:

    JMHO,
    Sue
     
  5. Sherrie

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    I do not mean any disrespect..and I love you Sue...but for me I do not see what belonging to a earthly local church...that is some written membership...has to do with being a member part of the church...which is Jesus Christ.

    I can worship and be in fellowship with the congregation of the Lord, every week; But, If I do not join that church does not disassemble me from the Eternal Church of Christ.

    But I can be supportive of the local churches and sister churches, or churches far off. Paul has made such statements in his letters, But never was it said I must Join. It just says to be in fellowship.

    Christ Jesus is not the building, or the programs. He is out in the world, and that is where we are to be.

    And I am a member of the SBC.

    Sherrie
     
  6. donnA

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    1Cor. teaches us we are all a part of the body, placed where we are by God, gifted by Him to edify the body, we all function together with others of the body. How can you do that without being a part of a church? Most baptist churchs I know won't allow non memebers to function in a ministry in their church. And rightfully so, it takes commitment to serve in a church, and if a person is not committed enough to be a memener then they aren't going to be committed enought to serve faithfully.

    I am constanly amazed at people who are not baptist are allowed to post on the baptist ony areas of the BB.
     
  7. USN2Pulpit

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    While I can't find a scripture passage in the Bible that reminds us that we are to "officially" join a church, I believe an attachment and commitment to a local congregation is important.

    People can say all they want, but generally the underlying reason they don't seek membership is that they are either afraid or unwilling to committ themselves to that local church body, similar to the way that many men and women live together under the bonds of "common law" instead of "marriage."

    Although not written in black and white, I believe this level of commitment to the local church body honors both God and the church.
     
  8. Sherrie

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    HI Kate! WOW! Who is not baptist and posting here?

    Sherrie
     
  9. christine

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    Dunno!!! I'm a Baptist, because I was raised one and I believe it in the same doctrine. Actually I attend the church that I do, BECAUSE of the statement of faith. I believe what they believe, and I think I need to inorder to attend. However, I am not a member. I would volunteer to clean the church, or give people rides to church, or anything else needed. I don't need to be a leader in every aspect of my life.
    I do think that if you teach sunday school or are a deacon or something of that nature, you should be a member. This would be to ensure each "leader" in the church, does believe the same thing and are not confusing issues or giving wrong info.
    My father was never a member of the church, but they never turned down his mechanical skills and his time, when it came to fixing and working on the church buses (which was constantly).
    [​IMG] Christine
     
  10. donnA

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    HI Kate! WOW! Who is not baptist and posting here?

    Sherrie
    </font>[/QUOTE]Sherrie, when one is not a memeber of a baptist church, they are not baptist, so far we have two posting in the baptist only area who are not baptists.
     
  11. christine

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    Katie, I don't want to offend you and I don't want to start a duel.
    What make me baptist is:
    I believe in full water immersion (baptism).
    I am baptized.
    I am saved (eternally).
    Christine
     
  12. Frogman

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    salvation makes an individual a member of the Family of God.

    Baptism is not required for this, but is necessary for membership into a church (Baptist). Anyone holding baptism without a local visible church membership is baptized improperly. Anyone not receiving baptism having made a profession of faith and being received into a local visible body (Baptist) as then being made a member of that church had no need of receiving that baptism.

    We often attempt to tone down our beliefs to make ourselves more acceptable to the world. When the words of Heb. 10 were written (to Hebrew Christians) they were experiencing persecution from Jews, they perhaps did not have any set meeting places, they were preached to and taught where ever a called man of God was moved upon by the Holy Spirit. Those that gladly received the word of God then became those who received baptism, it was then those who were in the church. Those who received the word, but feared the Jews, still received the word into their hearts, but not submitting to baptism prevented their membership into the church.

    John Gill, a more able expositor of the word of God than myself, taught that baptism was by the discretion of the 'preacher' or pastor of the local body, I disagree, respectfully. It is this view that ultimately, IMHO, led to the division in the Baptists of the Campbellites. No one should be baptized apart from the positive reception of the local body to receive them, and none should be received except they who have been properly baptized. Baptism is an important doctrine that we shy from because of the Campbellite teaching of regeneration through the waters. This is sad, at least to me. We as Baptists should not deny the truth of the scripture that teaches the importance of baptism simply because some are loud and long in their insistance that except ye are baptized too, you cannot be saved.

    When Christ died the saved died in him, this is an eternal view enjoyed only by the Godhead, we died in him, but not with him, or else we are saved not by Grace, but a mixture of Grace and works. The Bible nowhere supports this mixture, not even in the waters of Baptism. These waters then become an identification only with the church, but not necessary to the identification with the family of God, if this latter is true, then our Lord and Saviour could not have been the Lamb of God, without spot or blemish that has offered himself through the eternal spirit. He did submit to the baptism of John, but only to identify with the church he was to establish. It cannot be supported nor defended that baptism is unto remission of sin, or else Christ had need of this remission.

    Thus the importance of baptism cannot be denied, but it's haphazard application for the sake of fear of emphasizing it can neither be defended. Our church has lost many by offense because our pastor refused to baptize them when they have come to him privately without the consent of the church, however, these same would not have considered themselves members, so did we lose any? Or did we just prevent a source of future division? :confused:

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     
  13. Helen

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    It depends on the church! As already stated, church membership does not make one a Christian. Jesus makes someone a Christian, and at that point, that person is a member of the family and body of Christ.

    In every church I have been in and visited there are Christians and a lot of people who do not seem to be. Yet they are members. A number are in positions of leadership for one reason or another.

    Different denominations and different churches have their own ways of handling this problem. As for myself, we have always tried to be very involved and supportive no matter where we are. We have not always attended Baptist churches -- not all the ministers preach straight Bible!

    But whether we were members officially or not, our help has never been refused! We are part of the body of Christ and we will go where He sends us. We will serve as He directs.

    I can understand why some churches require membership. I can also understand why some churches do not. Hopefully, each church is praying to God for guidance and following the lead of the Holy Spirit in this area.
     
  14. christine

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    Frogman, Ok here goes, I was saved as a child and baptisted afterward in my families church. Backslide for about twenty years and I have gotten right with God since October 2002. Since then it took awhile to find a good baptist church, which I have attended for a couple of months.
    So as I understand it, I was baptisted as a child because I was saved and wanted to profess publically that I was saved and as an act of obedience to God, not because I wanted to be a member of a church.
    I really do like the church that I attend, but do not feel that I am ready to join it so quickly.
    I could be mistaken, but what I got out of your post was a catch 22. You have to be a member to be baptisted and then you have to be baptised to be a member. :confused:
     
  15. Artimaeus

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    Acts 20:28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. NASB

    Are you willing to submit to the authority of EVERY pastor/teacher in the world? Even limiting it to pastot/teachers that you accept as legitimate, I don't think you would. Every overseer doesn't, won't, and can't oversee the entire church, so, he is responsible for a smaller group. How is this smaller group identified? Is it by just whoever shows up? The overseers cannot discipline everyone who names the name of Christ. The overseers cannot minister to everyone who names the name of Christ. Who mows the grass? (Just any Christian can, you say)? Who paints the building? (Just any Christian can, you say) Who sings in the choir? (Just any Christian can, you say) Who collects the offerings? (Just any Christian can, you say) Who preaches from the pulpit? (Just any Christian can, you say) Who decides how things are done at your local assembly? (Just any Christian can, you say) Do you see my point? Some things you can participate in as a spectator, some things you can participate in just by showing up. But, some things require a standing, and a right, and a priviledge, and a responsibility that can only be exercised by "joining' and being a recognized "member". I can play pickup games of basketball but I can only be on a team by becoming a member.
     
  16. Frogman

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    No, you have to be a believer to be baptized. You then as a believer profess your faith and the church receives this, by vote, to receive you by baptism (if not prior baptized, or if it is considered improper). The membership 'vote' to receive the believer is only in the view of the baptism, not without this ever occurring.

    In other words, if I profess faith, a church receives me, I cannot be considered a member of that body apart from baptism, if I never receive baptism, then I am never made a member in good standing and thus permitted to the Lord's Table.

    Helen, you are correct, these things depend on the church, but it is important that the 'church' follow the Scriptural example.

    God Bless All
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  17. christine

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    You're not suggesting that I be re-baptisted in order to joint this church, are you?
    Christine
     
  18. Frogman

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    That can only be suggested by the determination of the church. If they consider themselves in like faith and order as the body that administered your baptism.

    In my case (which is all I can offer to you) I was saved and baptized similarly as you, and as you I backslid and fell from fellowship of the body where I held membership. When I began visiting my current church and provided my experience, I came by baptism for two reasons:

    1. I do not believe I could have received from the other a letter of credibility.

    2. Second, the other church did not believe the doctrines of Grace veering on perserverance.

    For each of these reasons, I submitted to the baptism of my present church.

    Your case would and can only be determined by you and the church you are now attending.

    God Bless.
    Bro.Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     
  19. christine

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    I really thought I had just misunderstood what you were saying. I have never heard of someone getting baptisted over again just because they moved or changed churches.
    Is this what some people believe in?
    Christine
     
  20. Frogman

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    I am not sure if I understand your question. But, it is believed not to be 're-baptized' if the 'first' baptism is by a body that is viewed that the body administering the baptism is not scriptural, then it is not a case of being rebaptized, but baptized.

    As I said above, this must be determined by agreement of you and the church you are now attending.

    Many people understand the 'Baptists' to be a denomination and that such 're-baptism' occurs among them. But in truth, the baptists are believers in church autonomy. There is no denominational association that has an authority over a local body, this body is subject only to the head and that is Christ and are founded upon the NT model. There are some who may require you be baptized, but I don't know the church you are visiting, you would best speak to them about it whenever you decide to join.

    Hope that helps.

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     

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