Members who disagree with doctrinal statement

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by aefting, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. aefting

    aefting
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    0
    Would you allow a person to become a member who disagrees with portions of the church doctrinal statement? Another thread got me thinking about that. What if a person was OEC and the church doctrinal statement specficed YEC?

    Are there some portions of your doctrinal statement that you would give room on, as long as they did not cause problems regarding their differences?

    Andy
     
  2. LarryN

    LarryN
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    0
    No- our members must specify 100% agreement with the church's Statement of Faith, without any reservations.

    Now, at our church neither OEC or YEC is mentioned in the doctrinal statement. Creation, of course, is specified; with Adam & Eve as the first human couple- but any specific timeline for creation isn't a component of our statement.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    No. But I would allow such to become involved in the church in various non-teaching ministries. We have a wonderful a-mill couple. They cannot sign our confession.

    But they can be used as workers in the hospitality, ladies group, usher, music - none of which demands being a "member".

    But when it comes to SS teaching or any platform ministry, we reserve that for members who are in 100% agreement with the doctrinal statement.
     
  4. joyfulkeeperathome

    joyfulkeeperathome
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmm, I should go read our church's doctrinal statement....
     
  5. go2church

    go2church
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    6
    Do churches put something like their understanding of Genesis 1-11 in their doctrinal statement?

    Since we use the BF&M 1963 there is an expectation that they adhere to such. Why have a doctrinal statement if your going to just ignore it whenever it gets "in the way" of people joining the church?
     
  6. NateT

    NateT
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2000
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    The church that we are in the process of joining states that if you have settled convictions against any of the points of their statement of faith (21 points I think) that you are not to join. If they are not settled convictions they encourage you to keep coming and establish settled convictions one way or the other.

    I think that is the way to do it. Why allow people to join your group (whether secular or religious)if they don't agree with what you've established as the core beliefs. If you do that, membership becomes meaningless (in my estimation.)
     
  7. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    Most doctrinal statements require agreement thus the question is answered.

    If there is no such requirement then I'd recommend the board get together and get one started or set down some guidelines for the pastor to follow in allowing people to minister.

    Many community churches years ago had totally inadequate doctrinal statements so everyone could come and join. There was a lot of difference in the teaching - you just had to give your opinion and drop it or trouble arose.

    I know one that even today has a strong Armenian and a strong Calvinist on the board. They speak their minds when a passage comes up and the class moves on - great restraint on both their parts I'd guess :)

    I personally have a statement in the doctrinal statement that any incoming pastor be in 100% agreement. Have run across way to many pastors that didn't and took the church into other fellowships/movements. I would add 100% agreement or submission to the constitution as well. If he has areas of disagreement he should be up front with the church.
     
  8. scooter

    scooter
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is an interesting slant on this question. Someone is saved as a result of the church's ministries and he desires to become a member. At this stage in his Christian life he doesn't really have a clue about old earth, young earth, dispensations, covenants, amill, premill, post mill - you get the idea. He sits through a basic prospective member class where these doctrines are given a cursory treatment, agrees to the doctrinal statement - although he is basically ignorant about these doctrines and certainly can't defend them - and now he becomes a member. Compare him to the "seasoned" believer who happens to disagree with one point of your doctrinal statement, let's say old earth versus young earth. He can't become a member.
     
  9. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problem with churches in my area is that that they do not even know their own doctrinal statement (BF&M, as I am SBC). No one questions what you believe or adhere to.

    You are offered three choices: Joining by statement of faith (that you are saved and baptized), Joining by letter from a sister church (SBC or Baptist), or Joining by confession and baptism. ANd that is aboutt he extent of it.

    And everyone wonders why no one gets involves or seems to really care...

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  10. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0

    A member is allowed to disagree with an item in the doctrinal statement. However, a member is obiged to adhere to the doctrinal statement if he is a member of the denomination. I'm SBC. I don't agree with every BF&M item of the SBC, but, I'm bound as an SBC member to adhere to them. I take my denimonational very seriously.

    Now, this doesn't mean that the denominational doctrines are nevessarily the only "right" ones. Typically, they're more a matter of "this is the way we are going to interpret scripture on this issue". That's perfectly acceptible, so long as those doctrines are have scriptural support.
     
  11. aefting

    aefting
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do SBC churches each have their own doctrinal statement in addition to the BF&M statement, or does the BF&M serve as the over-riding doctrinal position for all SBC churches?

    For independants, at least, I would think you would want to limit members to those who are not opposed to the church's doctrinal statement (or operational practices for that matter). I can see bringing someone along who has not formed an opinion one way or another. I wonder about the wisdom of granting membership to those who would reject certain portions of the doctrinal statement.

    Andy
     
  12. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0

    A member is allowed to disagree with an item in the doctrinal statement. However, a member is obiged to adhere to the doctrinal statement if he is a member of the denomination. I'm SBC. I don't agree with every BF&M item of the SBC, but, I'm bound as an SBC member to adhere to them. I take my denimonational very seriously.

    Now, this doesn't mean that the denominational doctrines are nevessarily the only "right" ones. Typically, they're more a matter of "this is the way we are going to interpret scripture on this issue". That's perfectly acceptible, so long as those doctrines are have scriptural support.
    </font>[/QUOTE]JohnV,

    Individual Southern Baptists are not members of the convention or the denomination. Therefore you can disagree with the Convention's Doctrinal Statement and still be a Southern Baptist in good standing.
     
  13. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    No Southern Baptist Church is required to affirm the Demoninational BF&M Statement. Each Church can have their own doctrinal statement. Many choose to have the same doctrinal statement as the SBC.
     
  14. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    HS, while we Baptists loathe words like "denomination" if it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. If I openly refused to adhere to the SBC BF&M, assuming my church has affirmed it, my church has the right to remove me from their congregational membership. What good are items of faith and practice if they're only suggestions? Or maybe I simply take my affiliation more seriously than others??

    As far as SBC churches and the BF&M, what if my SBC church decides to install women pastors? It's not forbidden in the Distinctives, but the SBC denounces it. Hence, they risk being disfellowshipped from the SBC.
     
  15. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    JohnV,

    All I can tell you is that my church was founded in 1826 long before the SBC ever existed. We still have the original Articles of Faith and we're not planning on changing them.

    We are a Southern Baptist Church and are the Church where the Missouri Baptist Convention was organized in 1834.
     
  16. Link

    Link
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Messages:
    695
    Likes Received:
    0
    This thread brings to mind two points I would like to make:

    1. Church membership is unbiblical.
    2. It is unbiblical to limit fellowship or ministry just because people do not agree with a doctrinal statement.


    On point 1, church membership is automatic when we become a part of the body of Christ. The Bible does not teach or authorize us to invent new categories of church membership. We can fall into sin by withholding fellowship, favor, or communion based on a man-made system of church membership.

    2. There are some doctrinal points that Christians must hold to in order to be in the body, and there may be some doctrinal teachings that should exclude someone from fellowship, but excluding someone from fellowship or ministry in the local church based on the fact that they do not agree with a list of specific doctrinal assertions is not scriptural.

    What is the Biblical basis for either of these practices? I can find plenty of Biblical reasons against both of them.
     
  17. scooter

    scooter
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Link,

    You are correct that membership is unbiblical - if you mean that it doesn't give specific teachings on membership or show a formal membership process in the church. However, we do see the "right hand of fellowship" and the assembly of believers who had "all things in common". The situation in 2004 is vastly different. Doctrinal variations abound. Scripture also tells us we are to be like-minded and do all things in order. I'm not sure how you can have unity within a assembly of believers if you have one person teaching infant baptism, another believer's baptism, one proposing amill eschatology, and another premill.

    The Bible doesn't explicitly teach or authorize us to do a lot of things - that doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong. You can't build the doctrine or argument from silence. I can't think of an explicit NT example of a local church statement of faith or doctrinal statement. (There may be an example, but I am drawing a blank at the moment). Beside, you mention in point 2 that disagreement on some teachings should exclude someone from fellowship. What doctrines? Who decides?
     
  18. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    So how did you slip into this forum which is for Baptists Only with a NonBaptistic Position like this?
     
  19. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    One should agree with the churches doctrinal statements. The churches doctrinal statement should major on the majors and not on the minors.
     
  20. Link

    Link
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Messages:
    695
    Likes Received:
    0
    I go to a church that is legally a part of a Baptist church here in Indonesia, though it does not have formal membership.

    Honestly, I do not care if a position is 'Baptistic.' I care if it is Biblical.

    Paul and Barnabas recieved the 'right hand of fellowship' in Jerusalem. This does not mean they joined the membership roll of the Jerusalem church. In Jerusalem, the saints were automatically a part of one church, and were supposed to take active part of the church in that city. There weren't separate congregations that they were supposed to join by signing a membership roll.

    Doctrines that we could refuse fellowship for could be things like teaching that the resurrection has already occurred. I cite that one because Paul delivered some people over to Satan for that one. If someone denies that Christ is the Son of God, that He came in the flesh, that He rose from the dead, etc., these are central doctrines of the faith. If someone is teaching others to fornicate and eat meat offerred to idols, these are other doctrinal errors that need to be considered in relation to fellowship.

    But plenty of church oganizations will limit their fellowship based on doctrines like predestination, variant views on eternal security. Even demanding that members hold to a certain set of books in the canon would have cut off many of the believers in the first, second, and third centuries, since they weren't quite sure what would be in the canon.

    Does the Bible authorize us to set up a man-made creed to determine who will be a part of our own fellowship? Or are we supposed to follow the Biblical teachings that we are to fellowship with other believers? The Bible teaches there is one faith and one baptism. Who are we to set standards for accepting believers in fellowship besides the ones that God has already set?

    Why is this an important issue? Because it is an important issue in the bible. People were getting sick and dying in Corinth for not properly recognizing and regarding the body of Christ. What if we do not regard other members of the body of Christ. (We are the one bread, as Paul explains. The body is both the bread and the saints, as we can see in I Corinthians 11-12 and I Corinthians 10.)

    In Antioch, Peter withdrew himself from fellowshp by not eating with the Gentiles. (Perhaps this was the Lord's Supper, since they probably regularly ate together to remember the Lord as Christ commanded.) Paul certainly considered this an important issue.

    Paul taught that there should be no schism in the body. In Corith, some were dividing based on their favorite teachers. today some do that, and divide over their pet doctrines as well. Romans 14 teaches believers to recieve one another even if they hold some different beliefs and practices. Him who is weak in the faith recieve ye, not him who is weak in the faith, deny him membership.

    Church membership is something Christ did for us, not something we sign up for.
     

Share This Page

Loading...