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 the following posts Consider and respond, or again, if you want to discuss just let me know.
Does Local Church Membership sometimes cause believers to sin against their own conscience in an effort to obey a man?
How many times have I heard a man, or even a group of men, announce from the pulpit a “dream” or a “vision” that they have for the local church they are leading. Many times the call goes out to join this effort. Sometimes this call for action becomes a litmus test for faithfulness to the Christian life.
Some believers are intimidated into a service that is not their calling. (Obedience is better than sacrifice.) This is a shameful condition, since this believer may be missing out on God’s specific direction for their life, and possibly effecting the “vision” group improperly.
Some follow their conscience and quietly defer the invitation. At best, this may create a passive division within the body. At worst, this action may become a test of submissiveness, resulting in the judgment of rebellion, that ends in an unnecessary discipline or offense.
Cody – remember that Christianity is about following Jesus and serving others. Causing a believer to go against his conscience is a serious issue in Paul’s mind.
1 Corinthians 8:12
12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.
Our next post will address another question concerning the teaching of local 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.