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Can a church "join" another organziation?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Years ago, I was taught that a local church cannot join another organization. Rather affiliation is the proper term.

    JOIN:
    1
    a: to put or bring together so as to form a unit <join two blocks of wood with glue>
    b: to connect (as points) by a line
    c: adjoin
    2
    : to put or bring into close association or relationship <joined in marriage>

    AFFILIATE:
    af·fil·i·ate verb \ə-ˈfi-lē-ˌāt\1
    a: to bring or receive into close connection as a member or branch

    b: to associate as a member <affiliates herself with the local club>
    ************

    So, does it make a difference which term is used?
    My only concern is that I would not want my church to "join" an organizatio which would refuse or restrict leaving that organizationn.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. mont974x4

    mont974x4 New Member

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    Churches do so all the time. That's how denominations and associations work.

    I agree that I would not support joining one that did not allow for that joining to be undone should the need arise.


    I believe the same is true politically.
     
  3. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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  4. 12strings

    12strings Active Member

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    I would say it is a non-issue matter of semantics...despite slightly different dictionary definitions, in actual usage people use "join" to mean what you mean by "affiliate." So based on common usage, it would not be in error to say that a church is "joining with" other churches in the GARBC, or SBC, to accomplish some bigger things.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    But it is a very big deal to folks like the GARBC and other such groups (SBC normally does not have a problem with it)

    but is it wrong to "join" an organization?
     
  6. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    Joining rather than affiliating goes to the principle (distinctive) of the independence and autonomy of the Local (Baptist) Church. As Francis Wayland wrote in 1859, "A Baptist Church can not be represented."
     
  7. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    But why cant a Baptist church be represented? Even the GARB who does not like the term "join" sends messengers to the GARBC National Conference. Those messengers are represents their individual church

    From Article !V, Section 2
    Section 2. "Each church shall be entitled to a maximum of six voting messengers from its membership to be sent to the annual meeting, two of whom shall be empowered to sit on the Elections Committee"

    From the GARB constitution:
    "...(Note the word “fellowship,” not “membership.” A Baptist church cannot be a member of anything outside of itself. It can declare itself in fellowship with any body of Baptists on earth, but cannot be a member.)"

    Does Scripture forbid a church from joining another organization. What about the local Chamber of commerce, suppose your church was a member of an electric community?...
     
  8. 12strings

    12strings Active Member

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    I don't really know what F.W. meant by this, but I think the sentaence itself cannot be supported unless qualified in some way I can't think of.

    Baptist churches are represented all the time by their pastors and members at various venues...If two pastors meet to discuss some joint evangelistic endeavor, and the work out the details, they are representing their church...same thing at any association or "affiliation" meeting, because the entire church memberships do not attend such a meeting.
     
  9. 12strings

    12strings Active Member

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    I don't think so, and I don't think doing so would sacrifice autonomy if they did so voluntarily.
     
  10. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    So this may be another example of "We were just taught this- so it must be right"
     
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