Previous posts in this series were based on a pamphlet provided to me in my search for direction regarding local church membership. A brother named Cody sought to help me and I wish him well.
When I replied with the previous responses, I did not hear from him for a period of time. Of course, I feared I may have come off a bit strong, and in the interest of maintaining communication, reached out to him again.
As I have been thinking on this topic, I have considered 9 questions.
One question will be offered for comment in each of the following posts. Consider and respond, or again, if you want to discuss just let me know.
Does Local Church Membership actually create divisions among Christians?
If I were to join your church, would you restrict me from joining any other church?
How does this not create a condition of partiality?
4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
These distinctions are not described as unnecessary, illogical or evil in themselves, but simply “distinctions among themselves”
James 2:8-98 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
Even though James does not describe these distinctions as evil, he does describe the outcome of the actions as sin.
Although many time the Bible speaks of a particular teaching only once, it is not so with this concept.
James is echoed by Paul in Galations.
Galations 3:2525 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Notice that Paul did not restrict the act of goodness to a particular household of faith. There is no law against love. I think Paul said something about that in this very book of Galations.
I let you look it up!
Our next post will address another question concerning the teaching of loacal church membership. I do hope you will join me in my discussion with Cody, and supply comment or correction from the Word for our mutual edification.
If you read something in this discussion that concerns you, please take the time to send me your comments or reply within the post. I look forward to hearing from you.