Common law membership

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Feb 23, 2010.

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  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Most Baptist churches require some sort of screening before joining. It could be at a minimum a promise of letter, talking with the deacons, attending a new members class and so forth.

    What is your opinion of a church, that basically says as long as you attend faithfully and are active, you are a member.

    I remember down South where the motto of a local Church of God was "Salvation makes you a member"

    Thoughts?

    Salty
     
  2. dcorbett

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    My church - salvation is not membership in the local church, but you are in the body of Christ. Follow in obedience through baptism and you are now a member of the local church. If you ask to be taken off the rolls, or if you stop coming for a year, you are taken off the rolls.

    You are still a member of the body of Christ. :thumbs:
     
  3. paul wassona

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    What bothers me is when those who faithfully attend have not submitted to the authority of the church, and are even more faithful than those members who don't faithfully attend!

    If a church wants to be lax in their membership requirements that is their autonomous privilege, but it's a matter of submission to the local church and its leadership.

    There's this idea, and it's nothing "new", that churches are "public property" and subject to allowing anything that enters the door to have a "say" in its operation.
     
  4. annsni

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    Does living together make you married?

    I think there needs to be an official agreement between church and new member to "love, honor and cherish till death or another church do us part". LOL
     
  5. sag38

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    A agree with Annsni. Paul told the Corithian church to remove the sexual pervert from their fellowship. I think this denotes that even then there was some type of formal membership procedure.
     
  6. Salty

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    actually our church constitution calls for a "memorial membership list" for those who have died. Even death will not free you from membership! (but they do not have voting privileges!)


    Salty

    ps, come to think of it, we have no provisions for those who are raptured ! :laugh: :saint:
     
  7. donnA

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    I agree with debbie, and I wish more churches would remove people who hadn't been there in years, don't know about our new church how many there are on he roll who do not attend, but our old one had more then 100.
    In our church you first must be a baptized believer, or have become a believer and are seeking baptism, or you must join by testimony, or letter, they also require a new members class, but I am not clear if you are refused membership if you do not attend the class, I do know the by laws say you are.
     
  8. paul wassona

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    But then you leave the authority in the place of the person to leave any church and go to where ever they wish and to whom will accept them, even if they are not right with the church they just left.

    I've been through this where the church I was a member was very down towards me and my cildren were at risk of turning out just like all the other ones of that church. I tried to talk with the pastor but all he would do is accuse me of having problems with other members. I finally had enough and we left, much to our being talked about. This was 8 years ago and people still talk about us in that "group". We faithfully serve where we are at now. Even that former pastor has come to our church to preach and still took "shots" at us.

    Oh well, the devil will use anyone willing to listen long enough. He can't have my ears to hear his rantings.:godisgood:
     
  9. paul wassona

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    They ought to be reached for and not cut off. they are probably not even in church right now and NEED the church, not need the church to act like they hate them.
     
  10. Salty

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    We are getting a bit off the OP, basically, should there be a offical "formal" membership list, or just does attendence and/or being active "make you a member" ?
     
  11. paul wassona

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    I believe we covered it.

    The use of the word "formal" and "official" make it sound funny. How about the precept of what the bible teaches concerning church membership?
     
  12. annsni

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    Oh I agree. For some reason, I typed "till death do us part or...." but it's not showing that now. You can see it in Salty's quote. We've also left a church and would do so again if there was anything that was unBiblical going on and it was not being handled properly - and it was an issue that would cause us to not be able to fellowship there anymore. Sorry that was confusing.
     
  13. Crabtownboy

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    Submit to authority? Who's authority? What authority? What authority does this person/institution have over members.


    Does not sound very Baptist to me. Enlighten me.
     
  14. Jerome

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    Yes, if pastor or elders rule the church, membership matters little, other than to clarify who their sheeples are.

    John MacArthur's church bylaws: [emphasis added]
    And its "membership" brochure:
     
  15. Crabtownboy

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    We have a woman who is a very regular attender, works as hard at and for the church as anyone and who says she loves our church ... but that because of the hurt inflicted on her by another church when she was young that she will NEVER join a church as a member.

     
  16. Salty

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    By formal and/or official I mean the church body (or board as determined by the church constitution) actually votes someone into membership.

    As Ann said in post # 4
    PHP:
    Does living together make you married?
    is an excellent analogy. In fact, that is what I had in mind when I gave the title for this thread.

    Most of us would be adamantly against common law marriage -as that takes some 7 years to be official. Yet, isn't that what the church in question is doing? Lets just have a common law membership - no commitment, no required responsibility.
    And Paul brought up a good point in post #11
    PHP:
    How about the precept of what the bible teaches concerning church membership
    So is formal church membership Biblical, x-tra biblical, anti-biblical, or is membership simply a matter of doing all things decently and in order?

    Therefore, Paul we have not yet properly covered the subject.

    Salty
     
  17. Tom Bryant

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    For a person to join our church, they must be saved, baptized by immersion after salvation and agree with what we are doing and our philosophy of our church. They are the ones who get the privilege of voting (Big whoop! :laugh: ) in our business meetings.

    If someone does not want to join the church, they don't have to. They can still come to every service. They still get visits when they are in the hospital and help when they need it or ask for it.
     
  18. Salty

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    The right to hold office, the right to vote, the right to use the church for a wedding ceremony, ect.
     
  19. paul wassona

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    Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.

    enlightened yet?
     
  20. Salty

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    Paul, your answer was better than mine :thumbsup:
     
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