Standards of church membership

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    There are certian sins that we find deplorable.
    ie - excessive drunkness, open adultery, open hom0sexaltiy, ect, ect.

    So if such a person came to your church, was saved and wanted to join - but did not want to give up their pariticualr life style - should your church baptize them and/or allow them to become full fledge members?

    Motion has been made and seconded - open for discussion.....
     
  2. JohnDeereFan

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    First of all, I enjoy your posts and nearly always agree with you, but I disagree with the premise of this post.

    "if such a person was saved" + "did not want to give up their particular [sinful] lifestyle" doesn't work, as they could not be saved unless they repented of their sin.

    But, that aside, no, we would not accept them as members or baptism candidates.

    We would, however, love them enough to give them the Gospel and counsel them.
     
  3. ktn4eg

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    IMHO, [and I speak only as a "lay person"] I'd ask such a person as this exactly WHY he/she refuses to give up such a lifestyle.

    Granted, that person may have only a very limited [if any at all] exposure to Biblical truth prior to his/her salvation or perhaps was only exposed to the "easy believeism"/Joel Osteen-style of preaching.

    God's Word DOES call people to REPENT/FORSAKE you know.
     
  4. Zaac

    Zaac
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    Have they already been baptized? If so, there is no need to rebaptize.

    And if someone is involved in unrepentant sin, why would you grant them membership? If they had membership, God's word directs us to put them out over the same thing.

    Here's one for you. Your son says that he has been saved. He's been having sex with his on again/off again girlfriend for the last four or five years. You know it and spoke to him about it years ago. But it's obvious that he's still sleeping with her and he admits it. But he's coming to church every week. A couple of friends spoke to him about it years ago too. But he's still coming to church every week? What do you do?

    Now I mention this because it is a regular occurence in just about every Baptist church in America.
     
  5. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    No way!

    They would be counseled as to what salvation means -- repenting, having a change of mind, and of heart. If they don't feel such a desire, they aren't saved. That's one of the few circumstances where we can confidently make that determination, I think. If there is no mind and heart change, there is no Holy Spirit, hence there is no salvation. Obviously, then, no baptism, no membership. Just a lot of prayer and, we would pray, counseling to get them to the point they are actually ready to make a commitment to Christ out of a heart-desire, not an intellectual or emotional reaction to the gospel.
     
  6. quantumfaith

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    We do not have "church membership".
     
  7. Salty

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    This I ageee with you:smilewinkgrin:

    Agreed - if they were truly born again previously


    I would not want to grant membership - fellowship - yes and help them to overcome such sins.


    I could say " It appears that your eyes seemed to be blinded by your own need to make a point no matter how unfounded an example you have to stretch in order to attempt to make said point."
    but I wont - I will try to answer a hypothetical non asked question.

    IF you are asking about membership- if he is a member, I would regretfully reccomend he be put on a non-active membership list
    IF you are asking about joining the church, I would speak to the pastor / or if I was the pastor - reccomend it not even be brought up to the church.

    I would encourage him and his girlfriend to continue to attend church - and to disciple them and would have my wife also disciple the girlfriend.

    If they insisted on "bragging" "escapedes" at church I would insist they either start to respect the church or not to come back - until full repentence.

    Pray without ceasing.
     
    #7 Salty, Dec 30, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2013
  8. agedman

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    I would suggest that in the sight of God he is married, and should be openly acknowledged as married.

    A "formal ceremony" a marriage does not make.

    The single one event that makes one actually married is the "one flesh."

    The couple need to either acknowledge their coupling and call it as married and then resolve the legalities necessary by the government, or removed as members in good standing from the assemblies - not necessary to shun them.

    The question then should be resolved. The couple can attend, but not have the rights and covering of membership that others enjoy.
     
  9. Zaac

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    It's not a stretch. If folks were honest, there is probably not a single church that you couldn't walk into and have this situation. Are these individuals repentant? Why haven't they been brought before the church and disciplined and possibly removed?

    What does SCRIPTURE say should be done?

    Nope. In this scenario, they are already members.

    Why? Is this Biblical? They've been doing the same thing for years. They've been approached. Why would they still be in the church?

    What's that got to do with anything? You know and have gone to them. Two or three others know and have gone to them. But they are still in the church fornicating just as they have for years.

    Why?
     
  10. Zaac

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    Seriously? How is this any different than the unrepentant homosexual who has sex?

    And telling them they are married doesn't deal with the unrepentant fornication either.

    "

    Wouldn't that make any act of fornication marriage?

    Why not? We're talking about shunning unrepentant homosexuals who are having sex outside of marriage.

    What's to not open the door for folks to fornicate for a little while and feel justified in doing so because they're told they are technically married only to decide they want to fornicate with someone else and be married to them and it be okay to?

    This is EXACTLY what I mean. We treat heterosexual fornication completely different than homosexual fornication.
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Nope...its bad bad bad
     
  12. Jacob_Elliott

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    Sex in and of itself is not sin, homosexuality is. The bible tells us that when we have sex we become one flesh (marriage) when homosexuals have sex it's just sin(the bible teaches they are damed) as they cannot be married. Sex outside of marriage is sin, however if they confessed, repented and acknowledged the marriage everything would be fine.
     
  13. quantumfaith

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    Are you saying that someone of the homosexual type cannot repent and come to a right relationship with God?
     
  14. Jacob_Elliott

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    Not at all! My apologies if it came out that way! I believe that if anyone confesses and believes then they will be saved!
     
  15. quantumfaith

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    :wavey::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  16. Jordan Kurecki

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    Having sex does not constitute marriage in the eyes of God.
    Old Testament Law says that a man who has sex with an unmarried woman has to marry her. That would be unnecessary if having sex made them married.
    If that were the case, some teacher somewhere would be reminding people that they had to treat the people they had sex with as if they were wives.
    Tamar has sex with Judah because he won't consent to give her to his son in marriage. After they have sex, there is no thought that they are married. Judah relents and allows Tamar to marry his son.
    As pointed out elsewhere, fornication and adultery would both be non-existent events if the act of sex made you married.
    David has sex with Bathsheba, and then later marries her. Also unnecessary if the sex made them married.
     
  17. saturneptune

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    Really enjoy the threads you start. Also, I never read the responses before I post, but stick to your original post. My first thought is that a pattern, and I emphasize pattern, of the sins or life styles you mention above and being a Christian is an impossible combination. So, on that basis, no, our church could not vote to receive them until they repented of that sin and became a Christian.

    One thing I do want to mention before moving on, is that many Baptists do not understand the difference between a pattern of practicing sin, and a one time falling back after salvation and repenting the returning to the Lord in short order. That lack of understanding is what makes us seem so harsh at times, harsh on a non Biblical basis.

    Now, on the other side of this subject, not only should practicing open flagrant sin be reason not to accept membership, existing members who practice sin should be disfellowshipped, and not just for the sins that you mention, but more specifically, for the ones you did not. The first ones to go should be the gossips. There is no excuse for letting a local church be infected by these people, and they need to be gotten rid of. The next group that would go is those who have not darkened the door, supported the church in decades with time, talent, or money. These names linger on a church roll for no purpose. This is why I am so adamantly opposed to closed communion, because, by definition, these no loads are eligible to participate in the Lord's Supper. The third group that would go would be the ones who lead cliques and cause division within the local body of Christ.

    To me, your thread is a two edged sword.
     
  18. saturneptune

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    I think we can agree on this. Over the decades, Baptists in general have created their own pedestal of sin, which of course will include drinking, sex, TV, movies, gambling, dancing etc, etc, etc. Half the list has no Biblical basis. The order of sins we turn our nose up at was created by gossips, gluttons, self righteous slobs with enough beams in their eye to build a mansion, accusers, those who cause division, and those who do not know how to mind their own business. The pedestal needs to be shattered, and we need to treat all sin as the Bible says. Gossips, which IMO rank way above drunks in damage to the cause of Christ, need to be addressed in every local church.
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Agreed:thumbs::thumbs:
     

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