Monday, October 29, 2007

Re-Thinking Church Membership (Part 10)

Read entire series in one article here, or as a collection of all posts here.

Continuing on in my examination of the articles at Pulpit Magazine, here's a quote from Part 2 of their series. It is in regard to Christians committing themselves to other believers in a local assembly.

The Exhortation to Mutual Edification [biblical "one anothers"] :...Exhortations to this kind of ministry presuppose that believers have committed themselves to other believers in a specific local assembly. Church membership is simply the formal way to make that commitment.
This is interesting. Church membership (as the elders at Grace Church define it!) is the formal way to make a commitment to other believers? I have a different understanding of commitment to other believers. A commitment to other believers is included in the New Covenant of Christ's blood. One does not commit to other believers by jumping through the hoops of a man-made church membership, one commits to other believers by obeying Christ with respect to loving others. The formal way to commit one's self to others is by actually committing one's self to others. It's that simple!

Part 9 . . . . . . . . Part 11

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this series. I reckon that a lot of the problem comes from conflating churches with the Church and because those who are vested in the institution promote this conflation. At the very least, the apologists for the institution struggle to characterize it as necessary.

    I find that a useful analogy may be found in the sports world. Cricket, and the love of it, is very widespread in much of the world. Some cricket aficonados join cricket clubs to facilitate playing or otherwise enjoying cricket. The cricket club is not the same as cricket itself. To the very active members of the club, it may seem so at times. But the game will persist even if the club disbands or even if all the clubs disband. Cricket could still be played by clubless amateurs, or the sport could be organized along radically different lines. The clubs, while useful, are not necessary.

    Churches are like cricket clubs. They are useful for facilitating collective worship and organizing activities, but they aren't absolutely necessary. They are means to an end, not the end in themselves.