"Not too public profession"

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by WHYME, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. WHYME

    WHYME
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    My church in the past few years has established a procedure when some one responds to the invitation they are immediately taken to a conference room for consultation and counseling by a supposively trained counseler.
    Then usually in the evening service of that same day they are presented by video (overhead projector)to the congregation to vote on. This is true for both new believers and those transferring their letter. Sad to say most of those presented are not there at the time the vote is taken. Has anyone else experienced this in their church?
     
  2. bapmom

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    A) why would you sort of cast aspersions on your own church's policy by saying they are counselled by a "supposedly" trained counsellor?


    B) Im sure we've had votes for membership where not all voted in were present at the time....why does that matter?
     
  3. Plain Old Bill

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    I guess the only way you will know for sure how well trained these counselors are is to ask for the training yourself and become a part of that team.The next thing I would do is ask my pastor what the reasoning is behind the way the new converts are presented to the church. We have no way of knowing how large or small your church is.This may be the most practicle way of presenting the new converts to the church.
     
  4. slow to learn

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    i personally have a problem with doing things only because they are the most practical. besides baptism being an aspect of a public declaration of Christ, i believe the person coming forward should have the opportunity to verbally express to the church that they have accepted crist as savior.
     
  5. Deacon

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    Similar but different.

    Upon baptism, we give the people the opportunity to give a testamony.

    They can either give the testamony themselves or write it out before-hand and have a pastor read it.

    In one instance where a former satanist, and enemy of the church, became a believer, we audio taped the testamony in his own words beforehand and played it at the baptism (the leadership wanted some ability to limit the grisly details given to the congregation).

    Rob
     
  6. bapmom

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    Don't they verbally express to the church that they've accepted Christ while being baptized? Ive always seen baptisms done by the preacher first asking the person if they have trusted in Christ as their personal saviour. So by saying "yes" the person is making a verbal confession.
     
  7. NateT

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    Well the problem I have with the OP is this. According to the post, the person is coming forward to profess faith in Christ. I assume that is a 1st time believer, and not transfer of membership.

    Then they are presented THAT NIGHT for vote into membership? Should they not be baptized first? Is this not a baptist church or did I miss something?

    We have joined a church in which we were not required to be at the business meeting to become a member, as we had already publicly professed our faith. We have also just recently joined a church in which we had to be there to testify that we were trusting in Christ a lone.

    Although there is nothing inherently wrong with a profession via video (if they have to leave town or cannot be at the evening service for some reason.) However, I would think it would be something to discourage since it would seem to ENCOURAGE not attending Sunday nights.

    Saying all of that, since this is not a hypothetical case, but an actual event going on, I would have to agree with Plain Old Bill and say if you have a question about it, approach the leadership of the church and find out why it's being done and express any concerns you have.
     
  8. gb93433

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    Many churches today are not accepting a transfer of letter for good reason. There are those who are members of Baptist churches and they are not believers. Often they could transfer their membership by letter.

    Just recently we joined a church and everyone present had to give their testimony. The last lady to give hers realized she had not had the experience the rest of us had. So that night was the night she gave her life to Christ. She was a member of a church in another area of the state where she had moved from.
     
  9. Deacon

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    Yes, of course, the typical salvation questions are asked before the congregation so there is a simple profession.

    Rob
     
  10. bapmom

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    I wasn't very clear in my last post....I was addressing it more to "slow to learn's" post which seemed to be saying that the baptism was not a public declaration.
     
  11. All about Grace

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    We have no public invitation to "come forward" so all of our decisions are made through other means other than "before" the church. Public profession is done at baptism.

    Question: why would a church "vote" on whether a person can become a member?
     
  12. Bro. James Reed

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    Every single time a new member has been voted on in our church they were present.

    When someone presents themself for membership, the pastor asks for a short statement of faith from the person, and he then asks what the mind of the church is. A person makes a motion and another seconds the motion. The church then votes right there. At that time, the person is a member of the church, subject to receipt of a letter in good standing from their former church or a proper baptism by an ordained minister.

    Never heard of taking them into a closed session and taping their testimony.
     
  13. Bro. James Reed

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    Because the person may not be a proper candidate for church membership.

    If they have been excluded from their former church, then we can not take them if we want to retain fellowship with that church.

    If they are living in adultery or some other incompatible lifestyle, the church can not take them until they have "fixed" their situation.

    There are reasons to vote "no" on such an occassion. As far as I know, my church has only voted "no" once. A man was living with a woman as his "wife" though they were not married. He was told him to pray about the situation, change it if he felt the leading of the Spirit, and come back and let the church know his decision. The man decided not to marry the woman and not to join our church.

    The situation isn't common, but it isn't unheard of either.

    In today's world, the situation seems even more likely to occur.

    That is the reason we vote on someone's membership.
     
  14. All about Grace

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    That's why all of our potential members go through a "membership" style class, where we talk about salvation, baptism, church vision, expectations, etc. It is a great place for evangelism in that we reach a lot of unbelievers. And it also helps expose the church shoppers who will not fit our vision. People then "join" the church through this membership class. The church body has no "vote" on whether a person can join. That seems very extra-biblical to me.
     
  15. Bro. James Reed

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    And a "membership" style class doesn't?
     
  16. Bro. James Reed

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    The church is the people; the members themselves.

    They are the ONLY folks who should determine who can and can not be a part of their membership.

    Anything else seems very extra-biblical to me.
     
  17. All about Grace

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    Yes a membership class is extra-biblical.

    What percentage of the vote does a person have to receive?
     
  18. tinytim

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    If they are living in adultery or some other incompatible lifestyle, the church can not take them until they have "fixed" their situation.

    </font>[/QUOTE]I understand why we as Baptists vote, but something bothers me.

    First, why is it that Jesus can accept someone, but we have to make them change before we accept them?

    Second, where do we draw the line? We all have sin. If the above rule was applied to all sins equally, then no one could join.

    What makes gossiping less of a sin than living together?

    Sometimes, I think we are too concerned what the church down the road will think of us, if we actually become a hospital to the sin sick instead of a showcase for the saints.

    Yes Sin is wrong, but the person voting against a new believer has sinned also.
    I'm afraid we are a bit conceited sometimes.
    (yes, I am including myself!)
     
  19. bapmom

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    but if you look in 1 Corinthians we see the case where that church was told to deny fellowship with someone who refused to repent of a very public sin.

    Of course gossip is just as much of a sin, and the Bible also tells us to put away talebearers when they are unwilling to stop.

    Its all about the unrepentant part. Once the person is willing to do right...or at least try....then we are to restore them again and treat them just as well as we treat anyone else.
     
  20. TexasSky

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    When they come forward at our church the Pastor says something like, "John Smith comes to us today from a church of like faith and order seeking membership. All in favor say "amen". Jane Doe comes today to make a public profession of faith seeking baptism and membership, I have talked to Jane extensively this week, and we're very glad she is here. All in favor say "amen." Jim Johnson comes to us today announcing that he has asked Christ to be his Lord and Savior, seeking membership and believers baptism. We are going to ask all of this group to go with Tina and Scott to finish gathering their information while we finish some church business." The people go off with our counseling team where their information is taken and Jim is spoken to about his profession. If the team has no concerns they recommend scheduling Baptism, in which case the Pastor will talk to Jim and the church will vote that night on Jim's membership. If the team has concerns, the Pastor will speak to Jim and explain to him why the church has concerns, and if the questions or concerns remain it will be discussed with the Deacons before it is brought to the church again.
     

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