My husband and I have been attending an independent fundamental Baptist church after having left an inter-denominational church after 12 years. I think we basically agree with the doctrine but I don't understand one thing and wondered if you folks could help. Why is "membership" in the church so important? In our experience with inter-denominational churches membership was not required to attend Bible studies, sing in the choir, or even teach in Sunday School. It was not emphasized at all. I suppose after a time, if you were to take a leadership role, it would have been required but really you didn't NEED it. At the independent fundamental Baptist church we have been at for several months, they are pressuring us to join and requiring us to be rebaptised in THEIR church. They will not allow me to attend the women's Bible study until we join (which my husband isn't interested in doing right now). Is this a common practice to exclude non-members from Bible studies? I don't want to argue but can't understand this.