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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Reformed Baptist stated in another thread (post # 8) " there are churches with memberships in that massively out number their regular attendance - that isn't right, that is a schism in the body (all those in nonattandence should be removed from the membership).

    So lets talk about that - How long should pass before a church dismisses a member - or should they be put on an inactive list.
    How about a military member who does a three year tour of duty overseas - what status should he be.

    How many visits should be made before action is taken?
    Suppose a member joins a cult - say a Mormon church - what action should be taken?

    Open for discussion.
     
    #1 Salty, Apr 24, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  2. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Our constitution stated that after 3 months of non-attendance a member's name was dropped from the membership roll.

    The exceptions were military service, away at college/school, medical reasons, and other exceptions approved by the pastor/deacons.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. reformed_baptist

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    I think that pretty much sums it up, although ours is 6 months. Of course there are always cases when exceptions will be made to rules in certain circumstances but in reality if someone has been part of the church for any length of time then why have their names on a list of paper - what good are you doing that person by keeping them on your books (to my mind you are merely legitimizing their absence).
     
  4. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    RB on the other thread stated: "I never said we should 'simply remove' - please don't misrepresent my words in that way! I said we should remove - I don't think there is anything simple about doing it, but I think it is vital for the health of the local church."

    I was not referring to the clerk just erasing their name off the list after 3 months - rather I was referring to how
    and when we determine to remove someone from membership.

    Now, IMHO - I would not totally take a person off a membership list - thus an inactive list - which means no voting rights, or holding positions.
    Now, suppose a person has non-attendance for three months - do we "simply" drop them off the rolls - or do we attempt to bring them back into the fold; if they do not come back in a short period- how often do we seek reconciliation with them.

    As far as being in the military -or attendance at college - we should encourage them to join a church of like faith and practice.

    Discussion to continue......
     
  5. reformed_baptist

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    You haven't addressed my concern with you way you have misused my words!

    Furthermore you have gone on to make a whole new thread out of a statement you taken of context and pejoratively misrepresented. I don't think this behavior is acceptable!
     
    #5 reformed_baptist, Apr 24, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  6. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Our constitution forbade dual membership with the exception of military service and away at college.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. reformed_baptist

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    There is nothing to discuss - this thread is the result of your misrepresentation of my words and it should be deleted - and that deletion should be accompanied by an apology.
     
    #7 reformed_baptist, Apr 24, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  8. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    The other thread was about the Apostle Paul being a member of a local church.

    This thread is about dismissing members from a church - which is a very important subject.

    As far as taking out of context - actually you took my statement out of context - and I see it as a non issue.


    Actually, we have had some very interesting points brought out in this thread.
     
  9. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Why should someone in the military have dual membership?
    If you are overseas for three years (as an example) the church they are attending is their local church.
    When they return - nothing would prevent (hopefully) from rejoining their church.

    In fact, when I was overseas - there were several people who refused to join our church because they felt so close to their home church - ..... (Hmm this could start even another thread)
     
  10. reformed_baptist

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    The fact that see it as a non-issue is the biggest problem of all - how is it right (or a non-issue) to put words in the mouth of your fellow believer? I never said, 'simply remove' that is your pejorative slant on my words! [Edited]
     
  11. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    I am the one who said "Should we simply remover someone from membership - " I never infered you said it.
    You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. I do not see a reason to apologize. However, I will say, it is a shame you took it the wrong way - and this end my part of the discussion.
     
  12. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    During the Gulf War we had men in the mid-east who were members of mission churches who maintained their membership with us as their home church. Their wives and children stayed here with us. It would have been cruel to not allow the husband/father to be a member of the same church his wife and kids were members of. I would not break up a family by denying them to be members of the same church and have our members praying for the men in times of peril.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    But apparently in that case- they had not joined a local church in that war zone. That isn't what I was refering to.

    Now during Vietnam, several GI's became members of Trinity Baptist, Saiagon

    My belief is that a person should be a member of a local church. And being a member of a different chruch would not prevent the "home church" from praying for you. Also, I would not see that action "breaking up a family" The Army already done that (not saying that in a derogatory way - as a GI knows that can happen any time)
     
  14. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Now that we have discuss the military issue at length - -
    how about those members in the local area.
    Suppose they have not attended for a full year -
    What action does your church take - before dismissal
    Is there a minimum number of contacts - ie letter, phone calls, visits, ect?
     
  15. reformed_baptist

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    If that was the case you have had plenty of opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding previously!

    You quoted me talking about removing none-attenders and then, without investigating what I meant and ignoring the context of what I said you asked:

    The implication of your words is that you understood me to speaking about 'simply removing' - there simply is no other way to read that.

    Maybe, so why didn't you clear up straight away, rather then saying:

    And then not addressing my complaint or explaining how I had misunderstood.

    Clearly!

    You have had plenty of time to clear up any misunderstanding - and I note no clarity has been added to your meaning on the other thread.

    Ok....then we are at an impasse.
     
  16. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    One reason I would want an inactive list - is that I want that person to be remembered by the church and to continue praying for them to come back to the Lord.
     
  17. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Time to drop it.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  18. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Uh, I said, "During the Gulf War we had men in the mid-east who were members of mission churches . . . "
     
  19. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I agree that absent and unknown memberships are a big problem in Baptist churches in America -- almost all of them. If a member is "non-attending," to all intents and purposes they are not members and should be removed from the membership roll. I don't favor inactive lists, as it appears to me in New Testament times you were either a participating members of the congregation or you were not.

    As to how long, we don't have a standing rule (i.e., action if taken if a person doesn't attend in "X" period of time). I don't think a standing rule is a bad thing, we just have never had one. We're small enough that what we do works for us, and ultimately all cases are examined on a case-by-case basis anyway. Visits should be made before action is taken, but ideally the visits should be made prior to the problem developing, for the church to find out why a person is not attending.

    Away in the military, sick, invalid, mission/evangelistic work and such things are reasons a person might maintain membership in the home church while not able to attend. Again case-by-case basis. For example, if a member goes away to college or is away in military service, the ideal expectation is for them to join a church of like faith and order. But churches of like faith and order do not exist in all places. Two options seem to be (1) if possible, try to start one, or (2) maintain communication with the home church so they know you are not drop out.

    If a member joins another church without communicating with us, they will be dropped from the roll. It does not have to be a cult. If they join another church that we consider a cult/false religion/false church, even if they communicate with us, they will be excluded from membership.

    Couldn't they just be on the prayer list to fulfill this same purpose?
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    conversely.....I have been wanting to join a church who lost a pastor on Feb 2016. So I'm stuck in a kind of limbo.....I wont join until I see that a good man is in place and they are dragging their feet because they like the interim retired guy they have in place. So I have been taking this opportunity to visit other churches, though haven't found anything as good or as close. Truly, it has been most frustrating. The church I visited this Sunday has renounced Baptist ways and have journeyed into a charismatic style to a point they prefer emotionalism to true bible. Indeed, that has been the mode of operation here. The charismatic church now dominates the landscape. Is this a trend you are finding or is this something specific to my area of the country?
     
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