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Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by SaggyWoman, May 16, 2002.
Whenever your church votes on new members, has anyone ever been declined membership?
No one has ever been refused in a service I have been at. However, the reason for voting is that a local church is congregationally governed with no authority but the congregation. Therefore, no one can be admitted into the membership without the consent of the body.
I have never seen anyone refused membership, but I have seen where someone living an openly sinful lifestyle and wanting support to get out of it get voted in under the "watchcare and protection of the church" That can be hairy though if the general attitude of the congregation isnt loving.
I have never seen anyone refused either, but then we screen prospects pretty well. By the time a person is up for church vote I have been in their home, maybe even several times, and the deacons have heard their testimony in detail. If I had any question about a person joining our church it would be dealt with personally long before that time.
Saggy, let me put it to you like this: I know a pastor that once thought his church building was too small. He had an idea, though: Start sending his church members one by one over to the church building that he really liked, and have them become members. When enough of them were over there for a majority, they would then vote him in as pastor, and they'd have their new church building.
When we all started laughing at him, that's when he said, "Oh, yeah, I was just joking."
Voting on membership gives members who might be "in the know" the chance to bring to light anything that might actually prohibit someone from membership in the church--such as, someone who professes to have been baptized and is being put forward as a member based on their statement of faith and baptism, but you know for a fact (because you've lived near or even with that person all your life) that their statement is false.