Joining the church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,122
    Likes Received:
    220
    Many churches handle joining the church as follows:

    Individuals walk the aisle
    Request to join by letter
    Congregation says Amen
    Pastors & deacons talk to the candidate
    Candidate is presented at the next business meeting
    to become a member on promise of letter
    Candidate is accepted into membership

    If a non-positive letter is received from former church, than church will take appropriate action.



    At one church I was at, a person requested to join on letter.
    The former church would not release his letter, as he stilled owed money to the church day school for tuition.


    Q-1 Does you church as the same basic policy? If not what are your procedures

    Q-2 How you handle the individual I mention who requested our church by letter?
     
  2. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    I really don't see how a church can refuse to release a person from membership until he pays off a debt.

    They can state to the requesting church that he isn't a member in good standing for that reason.

    The new church can then decide whether to receive him by statement or else reject his application for membership.

    Both churches must understand all this has nothing to do with the individual's standing before God.
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    A request for letter is simply a request from one church to another to confirm one's membership standing.

    But, it would be helpful if the granting church pastor would share some details. For instance, Tom sings in the choir, plays the piano (or guitar), taught Sunday School, that kind of thing.

    A note about the tuition debt Salty mentioned would also be helpful. But the pastor can't refuse to "release the letter," as if it is some legal document.

    The requesting church, independent and autonomous, may simply receive the man on his statement of salvation and scriptural baptism. That's what my church would do. But I would hope the pastor and the candidate for membership would have a conversation about that debt.
     
  4. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Who cares? Its just church membership which has the same efficacy as conversations about angels in pinheads...

    Nobody, well not nobody but few people, take church membership seriously. It does nothing for them and they do nothing for it.

    In the scenario...he needs to pay the tuition but it isn't the new church's place to gripe at him about it. Free church theology should prevail here.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,122
    Likes Received:
    220
    and thats the problem - no one - or at least very few take it seriously - and we should - otherwise membership means nothing.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,927
    Likes Received:
    96
    Out of curiosity, what if someone didnt have a letter because they didnt have a church?
     
  7. mont974x4

    mont974x4
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    1
    Why should we take it seriously?
     
  8. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    Our church follows the model in Acts, members "were added the same day." Our procedure is that someone walks up front and requests membership by transfer of a letter from a church of like faith and order, by statement, or by becoming a new Christian followed by Baptism. The church votes right then and there.

    If we got a negative letter from a former church, I am sure it would be handled in a Christian manner appropriate to the situation. It has never happened. Now, one thing that I can assure you I am against is an indoctrination period, a series of communicants classes, memorizing the bylaws, or some other similar nonsense. That is not how members were added to local churches in Acts. I would not belong to a church that practiced such.

    Of course, it would be good to know something about the person before joining, and in most cases, the person joining has talked to the pastor in advance.

    If one wants to be indoctrinated before joining, join the RCC.

    Even if we did have a requirement to wait for the letter in the mail, being in debt to the former church would not be a reason for denial of membership.
     
  9. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,934
    Likes Received:
    0
    Same as our church. We don't put stumbling blocks in the path of new members. Additionally, for those to be baptised, the service is held shortly after they join the church.

    If there is a problem after a member joins our church it's handled by the pastor and/or deacons, as applicable. To my knowledge, this is very rare.
     
  10. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,517
    Likes Received:
    1
    The IFB church of which I was a member from 1969-72 ( www.faithatsellersville.org ) had a policy of NOT receiving ANYONE "on promise of a letter."

    How Faith BC did it when I sought membership with them---which was some 43+ years ago and a different pastor (David Auckland then; today his son Paul Auckland is pastor) so it may be different now in 2012 cf. 1969---was that the pastor and a couple of deacons would interview you privately AND THEN they would present you before the church so that they could vote you in (or out!)
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,927
    Likes Received:
    96
    Lets say for arguments sake that I as a believer in Doctrines of Grace & in 1689 Confessions of Faith inquired.... I guess your saying that I would be rejected?

    How about if I went to a Reformed Baptist & told them I did not believe in DoG....what would they say?

    But I guess that I wouldnt be accepted in an IFB without a Suit & Tie and with a wife that will only wear pant suits.

    Or a Lutheran Church that did not believe in Unconditional Atonement.... but believes in the sacrament of infant baptism? How would I be received as a Baptist & a Definite Atonement believer?

    See what I'm saying! Christ looks at the heart only. :jesus:

    MAN looks at everything else.
     
    #11 Earth Wind and Fire, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2012
  12. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    And how does that square with the model of joining a local church in Acts?
     
  13. mont974x4

    mont974x4
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can you expand on your question please? A particular reference you may be thinking of would help.
     
  14. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry about that. There are several references in Acts to the effect that members were added to the church the same day, so, in our church, we have no indoctrination, no communicants class, or memorizing bylaws. We believe the model is Acts is the way our church should receive members. Old Timer had a very good post on this.
     
  15. mont974x4

    mont974x4
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you. I would agree. The profession of faith was the joining. It was also sufficient for baptism as well. Man, in his ever present need to "do something" always over complicates these things.
     
  16. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would not serve in a local church that created man made barriers towards membership.
     

Share This Page

Loading...