To What Extent Is a Church Member.....

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by ktn4eg, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    ..... expected to be in COMPLETE agreement with EVERY doctrinal position that his/her pastor maintains?

    Down through the years of my "Christian Experience" [48+ years], I heard folks say that unless a member is in complete agreement with his pastor on doctrines and practices, that member has no business being a member of that church.

    So, my question is this:

    Is the above position really correct? EX: If the pastor holds to some position on prophecy, must each member also hold that same position [e.g., the interpretation of some of the "judgments" mentioned in Revelation; the exact contents of "the cup" used in the Lord's Supper [wine or grape juice]; tithing [Is a member duty-bound to tithe; does one's tithe go only to his local church, or can some of it go towards supporting other Christian organizations? If the pastor is KJVO, must each member also be KJVO?].

    I could go on, but I think that you can see the point I'm trying to make.

    What are your thoughts on this?
     
  2. JonC

    JonC
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    The pastor is not the rule and authority of our faith.
     
  3. Reformed

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    Members should not have to agree with everything a church teaches or practices, although they should agree to submit to the teaching of their pastors and elders, nor advocate any teachings that are contrary to what their church believes.

    Officers of the church are different. An officer (pastor, elder, deacon) should be in complete agreement with the church doctrinal statement and and/or covenant.
     
  4. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Theological triage is helpful:

    1. We agree on all things that are foundational
    2. We agree to find common ground on most doctrinal (secondary) beliefs
    3. We agree to be charitable to each other on all areas of preference

    This means we don't agree on everything but are charitable in all things.
     
  5. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    Please help me to understand the difference between "foundational" and "doctrinal (secondary) beliefs." [EX: Suppose the pastor contends that being KJVO is a "foundational" belief, while, OTOH, a member contends that being KJVO is a "doctrinal (secondary) belief.]
     
  6. 12strings

    12strings
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    I do not think one has to be in complete doctrinal agreement with the pastor, but that all depends on how strident and unbending the member and pastor are. On the Kjv issue, some pastors would berate a member for using another translation, in which case that member is not going to be happy there. Eachatology imho, is one area that should not matter at all...

    Here's what our church does, and I have no problem with our way of doing things:

    *All the pastors are Calvinistic to some degree...Members are all over the map...some even believe one can lose their salvation...we are fine with that.
    *The senior pastor is an Amillenialist...members are all over the map.
    *We are an SBC, complimentarian, inerrantist church...we have a few egalitarian members, but they don't cause trouble...we have at least one non-innerantist member who doesn't cause trouble.
    *Pastors and members hold varying views of creationism, with the pastors emphasizing the importance of the historical Adam.
    *We have had deacons who reject Eternal security, and even a non-inerrantist deacon. Deacons serve, not teach, so doctrinal conformity is not as important as for pastors/Elders.
    ***Our resident non-inerrantist has a high view of scripture and its truthfulness...but he was educated st Sbts in the 70s, and so still harbors a bit if that resistance to the word...He basically says If some small error were discovered, it would not shake his confidence in scripture...He is a very godly man and husband, and we are still working on him...he may come around yet...:smilewinkgrin:
     
  7. RLBosley

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    I do not think that a person must agree with their pastor on every single point of belief and practice. If that were the case then we'd all be the pastor's of our own little church of one.

    However there should be total agreement on the absolute essentials (fundamentals) and I think unity is best maintained when people generally agree on the more important doctrinal issues (Soteriology or theological system for example).
     
  8. exscentric

    exscentric
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    Depends on the pastor - some yes some no - church leaders should control how picky they are.

    In the old days with one church in town there was more leeway - now with them on every coroner pastors get more picky :)

    Fundamentals of the faith should be the standard.
     
  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    My church has adopted the Baptist Faith and Message as its doctrinal statement. The statement leaves room for differences regarding Calvinism, eschatology, and a few other items.

    We have had Calvinist pastors, non-Calvinist pastors, Post-Tribbers and Dispensationalists. There is similar diversity among the members.

    Our church will not call a pastor who is not an interrantist. Nor one who does not hold to Eternal Security.

    Basically, it is the church, not the pastor, which determines its doctrines and practices.

    My view is that complete agreement with the BF&M is not necessary. But teachers, and pastor and deacons may not teach, preach or advocate positions contrary to it.

    A church should never cal l a pastor or staff member without knowing the answers to these questions.
     
    #9 Tom Butler, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2014
  10. Gina B

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    Yikes! That would leave no room for natural maturing. I don't know of anyone who has ever been in 100% agreement with everything all the time. If I did, I would probably yawn myself to death.
     
  11. righteousdude2

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    Great Question ....

    .... I only hope my answer meets your liking!

    If the church and its members are expected to march in lock step with every single believe, than it would not be a true church but rather a cult!

    God gave us all a certain amount of freedom, and as a pastor I never thought I could in any way meet all the needs of my people or preach and teach in a way that answered all their questions! I had people come and grow to the point that they apologised because they needed to find another church that they could grow more in!

    That should be expected and not met with frustration or anger by the pastor or others in the church! It is human nature, and people will grow only so far under the leadership of a pastor and then seek to go where they can be fed to meet their new hunger and questions.

    No church or pastor should attempt to be an end all in what they offer. It is impossible. I should mention that there were more people who joined the churches I pastored because they, like those who left, needed more!

    It is a trade off, and it shows we have not become
    [​IMG]
     
  12. preachinjesus

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    Well Foundational beliefs are those things that the Bible teaches clearly on, with no equivocation. They are the things the Church has agreed on since its inception. Often you can find them articulated in, for instance, the Apostles Creed. (I'm not saying we should be creedalist folks.) The document is a good one to refer to for some essentials. To be orthodox in our faith we must believe these things.

    Essentials/Foundational include:
    1. Trinity
    2. Jesus' divinity and humanity
    3. Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection
    4. Jesus is coming back
    5. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity
    6. Salvation is granted by grace through faith
    I'm sure we can list a few others here.

    Doctrinal matters include those things that aren't explicit Bible teachings and that the Church has happily disagreed over (with some wars over them) over the years. Things like:
    1. The nature of Baptism
    2. The role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers
    3. Sacramental theology vs. non-sacramental theology
    4. Church government
    5. Inerrancy
    6. Biblical inspiration
    7. Nature of missions and evangelism
    And many others...

    Preferences include
    1. Type of worship music
    2. Color of the carpet
    3. Tithing on gross or net
    And plenty of others

    In your example above, KJVO is absolutely not and could never be considered a foundational belief. The Church has not always held this belief and in the original Greek there is no English. Anyone attempting to posit KJVO as a foundational belief is not within the bounds of orthodoxy.

    We simply must be careful with division in the local church. It is too precious an entity to consider otherwise. :)
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I like the way you articulated that.:godisgood:
     
  14. ktn4eg

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    Preaching Jesus:

    I don't wish to belabor this issue, but, what should a person do if he is a member of a church whose pastor contends that KJVO IS a "foundational" doctrine and there are no other churches any where near where he lives?

    Should he "forsake the assembling" (Heb. 10:25) of that church?
     
  15. Reformed

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    The thing about your list and categories is that it is subjective to the individual. One person's essential is another person's non-essential and vice versa.
     
  16. Salty

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    Exactly!

    I suppose I would attend - but may not join - and then consider the Baptist thing - and start another church. If I did decide to join, I would make it very clear where I stood - and if they accepted me into membership - than they are accepting me as is.

    I actually went thur that once - was not a KJO issue - but Open vs Closed communion. (I am open) The church was closed. I told them where I stood, I was not accepted into membership.
     
  17. Reformed

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    Odd that they would deny you membership. If they had said to you, "We will accept you into membership so long as you do not advocate against our position" would you have joined? We allow for that in our church. We are a Reformed Baptist Church, but if a non-Reformed person wants to join we will allow them to join. They just cannot advocate contrary to what we believe.
     
  18. Salty

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    They wanted me to be the Youth director - and I told them - that when it came to teaching about the church - I would teach what I believe - they did not accept the belief of the universal church.

    No Problem - there was another church in town that was closer to my beliefs.
     
  19. Reformed

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    'gotcha. Thanks.
     
  20. Yeshua1

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    Think that the member should uphold the statement of beliefs of their church, IF those beliefs are all biblical...

    Thankfully, my church allows for latitude in areas such as timing of second coming, if its Cal/Arm in salvation, but all must hold to believers baptism, Bible as inerrant word of god, saved by garce alone/faith alone etc!
     

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