How "Local" Should A .....

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ktn4eg, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    "Local" Baptist Church Be?

    Most Baptist Churches claim that they adhere to what is normally called a "Church Covenant."

    Although such "Church Covenants" do not carry the same "Holy Spirit Inspired" authority as the Bible does, usually these Covenants contain a statement that should a member of that local church move to another physical location, he/she is encouraged to seek membership in some other "local Baptist church 'of like faith and order.'"

    My question is this:

    How many miles away from that person's "original" Baptist church's physical location does that member have to move before he/she should seek to move his/her church membership to another Baptist church "of like faith and order"?

    IOW, is there a specific distance in miles in which the member in question should transfer his/her membership from the local Baptist church in which he/she was a member to some other local Baptist church "of like faith and order"?
     
  2. Jacob_Elliott

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    I wouldn't say their is a specific distance, I think it depends upon the individual and God's will for them.
     
  3. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    I suppose that there could be some "lee-way" in determining whether or not a person ought to seek membership in a local Baptist church "of like faith and order."

    OTOH, I know for a fact [i.e., by that person's very own testimony that he drives past at least one local Baptist church which I personally know is of "like faith and order"] to attend another local Baptist church some 25-30 miles away from where he lives.

    I could see why this person might wish to remain a member of this church if he had family members (either his own family or of his wife's family), but in this case, neither he nor his wife have any family members that attend the church that they attend (in fact, the nearest family members that either have live some 250 miles away [in the other direction] from where he and his wife live).

    Now, I have never confronted this man on this particular issue (I'm not even certain that I should.), but (at least as far as I know) neither has anyone else (including that church's leadership).

    Maybe I'm just making a "mountain out of a molehill" on this matter (probably am!), but if the church has such a statement in its covenant, shouldn't that church at least do something about it in this particular case?
     
  4. JamesL

    JamesL
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    I would agree that each person needs to be led by God, and not necessarily by a church document. You might be making a mountain out of a molehill, but you might not. God may be directing you to talk to them about His will for them.

    Consider my story:

    I recently moved, and the backdrop was about four years in the making.

    When my son was 3 years old, I began looking for a preschool for him to attend. Though I preferred a Christian preschool, my top priority was finding one with academic excellence. I figured that he'll be taught the faith by me at home, so there is no dire need for him to learn it at school.

    The one I found happened to be Christian, but about 12 miles away from where we lived and attended church. After commuting back and forth for a while, we decided to move to the town where he was going to school, and found a church there. Not long afterward, I discovered that his preschool was only a satellite location of a full Christian school/church about 45 minutes away.

    I soon began to sense God telling me that at some point, he would end up at the main school and we would be connected to that church.

    The preschool soon added Kindergarten and First grade and planned on more. I was feeling pretty comfortable in that little town, and at our church. Then, almost a year ago, when my son was in first grade, I was called - out of the blue - and told that my son was not getting the best from the teachers they had available

    I was asked if I would transfer my son to the main school the next day. I did, and we began a 45 minute commute each way. This past September, I felt God telling me that it was time to move closer to the main school. We were able to move in November, and I told everyone at our church.

    When my pastor asked me of we were going to find a new church closer to where we moved, I had a pretty simple reply:

    A few years ago, I felt God telling me that we would end up moving, and would connect with this particular church/school. He did not give me any details, other than to follow Him when He said it was time to make each move. The latest step that I was directed to take, was to move to the same town that the school is in. I do believe that at some point, God will call us to say goodbye here, and fully connect there. But He has not done so yet. I do not know if it will be two weeks, or several years. So, I will continue to commute the 45 minutes to church until I hear otherwise, from above.

    In late December, I felt that God had told me it was time to take that next step. So I went and talked to our pastor about it last week, and he told me that he was fully expecting it.

    The point is that God directs our steps. If God is telling someone to commute past a dozen other similar churches, then that person should do just that.

    God has that way of coming up with some of the goofiest plans, at least form our perspective. But when we look back and see how He made it all come to pass, we are in awe.

    If you are concerned about it from God's perspective, I would see nothing wrong with talking to them about it. Maybe you are the instrument that God will use to prod them, or maybe they are doing exactly what God has told them to do
     
  5. Sapper Woody

    Sapper Woody
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    The word "local" does not mean in close proximity. It is used to differentiate between a physical building and the "universal church" idea. So, by joining a "local" church you are joining a physical assembly.
     
  6. prophet

    prophet
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    Locale. Location. Located at ...
     
  7. Archie the Preacher

    Archie the Preacher
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    I'll agree with the 'mountain/mole hill' conflation.
     
  8. Salty

    Salty
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    Here is how I would look at the situation:

    Would your next door neighbor consider riding to church with you if the church was located X miles away?

    I currently attend a SBC church about 11 miles away. (there is only one Evangelical church in that radius ) I have attempted to invite the neighbors, but to no avail. I do believe the Lord called us to this church for various reasons.

    Lately, the pastor and I ( I am asst pastor) have been considering starting a mission church. The location I am looking at is only 5 miles away. Should this church plant move forward, I do have a few folks that may consider attending.
     

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