Sunday, September 30, 2007

Re-Thinking Church Membership (Part 7)

Read entire series here.

Continuing in my examination of Part 1 of Pulpit Magazine's article on church membership, I'll now look at the next statement in their definition of church membership.

To become a member of a church is to formally commit oneself to an identifiable, local body of believers who have joined together for specific, divinely ordained purposes.
This statement makes it very clear that the elders of Grace Church view membership as an act to be performed by each individual believer. Yet the very proof text that they use, 1 Cor. 12:13, states something quite contrary:

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Scripture makes it very clear that entering the body comes through baptism by the Holy Spirit. It does not say, "We all baptized ourselves into one body." Baptism happens to us. Entering the body of Christ is a passive event for the Christian, not an active one. As I will show in future posts, if one's definition of something is contrary to the proof text that supposedly proves it, all conclusions based on that definition are subject to being skewed. Because the Grace Church view is based on action of man rather than passive acting upon by the Spirit, I call their view a man-made formal membership.

Part 6 . . . . . . . . Part 8

1 comment:

  1. I think their idea about membership sounds quite good - but I am with you on this one - membership into 'God's body' is rather strange - is like charging a fee to enter the door on a regular basis or asking for ID. I think it's a barrier that need not exist.