Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Re-Thinking Church Membership (Part 30) - An Analogy

Throughout this series I have dealt with the idea that Christians who assemble with a body of believers, who worship God, who serve others, who love others, who attend all church meetings and pray, give, encourage, exhort, admonish, help, and all the other commands of the bible, still must formally join a church through their formal membership system to be obedient. I have thought of an analogy that puts this idea in perspective.

"You know, Steve, you were born in America to parents who were born in America. They were also born to parents who were born in America. You were raised by your parents in America. You attended American schools, worked in American jobs, and pay taxes to the US government. You watch fireworks on the Fourth of July and remove your cap during the national anthem at a ballgame. Don't you think it's time you become an American citizen?"

Wow. I guess so.

Read the entire series here.

Part 29 . . . . . . . . Part 31


  1. Nevertheless in some countries you cannot enjoy ALL of the benefits of citizenship until you register as a voter, get a passport, or some otehr similar procedure.

    Is it totally unreasonable for churches to have such a requirement as well?

    And there is one question I always ask in such situations: how does it hurt me to comply? If it doesn't, what is my reason for objecting? And that reason could be the actual problem, not my lack of formal membership ...

  2. wnpaul appears to unwittingly have set up a straw man and chopped him down....

    As for having citizenship - you CAN enjoy ALL of the benefits including voting, getting a passport, etc., due exactly to the fact that you are already considered a citizen without ever applying! In a "church" that requires a man-made "membership" to join their church, one is not entitled to ANY of the other "benefits" until they acquire the membership to begin with. The "requirements" for taking part in different activities is completely separate from citizenship/membership, they are not the same thing.

    I'm not sure if my explanation is intelligible! lol Just rambling off the top of my head. But it is very apparent that wnpaul has not grasped the issue made in this blog.

    How does it hurt me to comply? It may not hurt me, just as it didn't hurt the Germans who didn't hide the Jews. But it does hurt others, just as many of the Jews were hurt due to compliant Germans. I would argue that it brings reproach to the body of Christ in the show of prejudice and injustice toward God's children with no authority to pass such judgment.

    Who are you, O man, to call unholy that which God has called holy? The Bible calls God's elect/chosen/children/sons, Holy Ones. Where on earth (or anywhere else) does anyone think they get the authority to create extra-biblical laws for God's Holy Ones? Or, as in the case of a friend who went to Grace Community Church (where MacArthur pastors), bringing down the threat of church discipline (ultimately turning him over to Satan) on this Holy One of God because of his polite and reserved inquiries (and reticence to sign on the dotted line) as to why he needs to come into this kind of membership in order to minister in any context within that assembly. Just for asking, he is now "in rebellion" and not obeying the elders! Sounds more like a cult than anything resembling the church of Jesus Christ to me.