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Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by SaggyWoman, Jul 3, 2007.
What do you hold to?
I say yes, if done in a local church.
A requirement for membership in our church is that you have been baptized. That does not mean that you are automaticly a member once you have been baptized. We recently had a couple who were saved at our church, then a few weeks later baptized, but the did not become members for a couple of months after that. Why didn't they become members? Because they were living together without the benefit of marriage at the time. After they accepted the Lord they both very quickly came to realize they should be married. After their marriage they then became members, because they now met all the requirements for membership, and asked to become members. If we automaticlly made them members because they were baptized then we would have been hypocritical in our membership standards.
Having been a member of 5-6 IFB churches in the 41 years of my Christian experience (solely as a lay person since I've never been called to preach), I've been told various things concerning whether or not baptism automatically = (local) church membership.
Some that I've been with said that it does, and some have said that it doesn't. (All of them, however, required me being immersed since my salvation.)
One of the ones that held to the idea that baptism doesn't, by itself, automatically make one a member of that local church required that I fill out a membership application/questionnaire then meet w/ the pastor and deacons before being presented to the body for their vote on whether or not to accept a person as a member.
Another one wanted me to attend a few potential members class sessions on Sunday mornings before I was recommended by the pastor to the body for a vote.
The others merely accepted me on promise of a letter from the church of which I was currently a member.
I could see advantages and disadvantges in all these different procedures. I guess it all depends on how much a person really wants to be a member of that particular church.
Just curious. Why did the church baptize them while they were still living in sin?
I join Tom's question. Why baptize them while they were living in open and known sin?
I would not baptize someone who did not want to become a member of the church except (perhaps) in extreme circumstances. Baptism is to the local body what spirit baptism is to the invisible body ... an introductory rite.
Typically, the administrator of baptism is the pastor, but it can be anyone appointed by the church body. They do not have to be ordained.
In answer to Tom and Pastor Larry. To be baptized in our church you need to have publicly professed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you need to be instructed in the fact that Baptisim is an act of obedience to God's Will and has not factor in your salvation, and finally you must wish to be obedient unto Him. In the example I gave I should have been more clear, the couple in question decided to get married before they were baptized, they had not had the ceremony yet so could not officially become members until they were married.
I agree with BBB. For us baptism is separate from membership. The requirement for baptism is salvation by faith. There are several requirements for membership in our church: salvation, baptism, agreement with the church's doctrine and goals.
This may be a hijack, but I am not sure that sanctification is a requirement for baptism. I mean, if you consider smoking a sin, would you not baptize them? Would you keep a man hooked on drugs from being baptized? Would you keep a bitter unforgiving person from being baptized? I couldn't. And the only question Philip asked the Ethiopian in Acts 8 was "if you believe?"
I am confused. lol ... Only married people can be a member of your church? Sorry I am not following you here.
I think the question here is the nature of saving faith: Can a person get saved while living in known sin and intending to continue? Is that true belief? I don't think biblically speaking that such is true belief. That is the belief that demons have ... when they know the facts but refuse to submit themselves to them (James 2).
I believe that true Biblical belief - not the head knowledge of demons - would preclude any salvation without submission to God. And as they grow in grace they will start the life long sanctification that salvation empowers, including quitting living together.
No single people can become members also. We do not accept as member people who are openly living in sin. Living in sin is not only living together without benefit of marriage, it is continuing in ANY sin, without being repentant or without making an effort to turn away from that sin. I am sure there are people who have been accepted as members who were still living in sin because they managed to hide their sins from the membership, but God knows their hearts.
Yup that is exactly what I believe Tom.
I would think that would come before baptism. I tell people baptism is a public profession of your desire to follow Christ in salvation. Such a profession is incompatible with living together. So I would bring that up before baptism.
Are you saying that we would submit to God and give up all sin before salvation?
are you saying that we let them grow spiritually before we let them be baptized? I do that for church membership, but not baptism.
I wonder what other sins you would do this to? Do you try to find out sins they are really involved with before baptism? If they have to start obeying before they obey what I would consider the first step of obedience, are we not keeping them from obeying what they know is right to do?
I'm really not saying that we don't confront about sin issues once a person has been saved, because we do. I'm just wondering if the example of the book of Acts is salvation then baptism, not salvation then get rid of the most obvious sins and then get baptized.
This reminds me of an on going debate i had with the controlling faction of the last church i served that swore the Bible said you are "baptized into church membership". While i may be able to agree with that in some way by "spirit", they used this to say that anyone baptized in their water had to be a member of their church.
I think part of the reason so many SBC churches have a high missing membership is because new believers were baptized and made members...and they probably weren't made aware of that. Some moved on to other churches and may not have moved their memberships, others just may not have been discipled (another huge problem) and walked right out the back door.
Being baptized is a profession of faith, but i don't think it equals membership. I have no problem and support it being required for membership, but i don't think they are the same.
No, but salvation is turning from sin to Christ. How can someone intend to hang onto known sin for which Christ died while turning from sin to Christ?
Baptism is a public confession of following Christ. I think they need to turn from sin to follow Christ.
I would do it this for any known sin that was habitual and purposeful.
Isn't salvation getting rid of sin? I don't buy your dichotomy.
Here's the question: Can a person get saved if they say, "I know living with my girlfriend is a sin; I don't intend to stop; but I want to ask Jesus to save me anyway"?
"Isn't salvation getting rid of sin? I don't buy your dichotomy. "
Do you really believe that? Did you get rid of all your sin when you were saved? I understand in a sense what you are saying. But do you question people about their sins that are, in your words "habitual and purposeful"?
"I think they need to turn from sin to follow Christ."
I don't think that before salvation anyone has the power or even the desire to turn away from sin. It is the power of salvation that makes me want to turn from sin. The Holy Spirit enters at salvation and He alone can give me the power and the desire to turn from sin.
I don't think - at least, I hope not - that we are very far apart on this. I appreciate the spirit of the debate.