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 follow after pragmatism or edification?
By that, I would refer to the following.
1 Corinthians 10:23
23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
If, for the sake of argument, the local church is “allowed” to have membership rolls, how is this beneficial to the average Christian? Remember, permissible actions do not equate to be pleasing actions!
Membership could be seen as a method of allowing or restricting a believer from christian activities or “full fellowship” This seems to be hurtful to the believer outside and create a sense of “arrival” for the one who is in “the club”.
It would seem that the benefit goes to those who might boast about the members. Although the principle topic is circumcision in Galations, could the attitude of Paul toward the judaizers be similar in regard to those who require local church membership from a believer?
Consider the following very loose paraphrase of Gal 6:12-13 (My apologies to Paul!)
Galations 6:12 – 13
As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be members; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
For neither they themselves who are members keep the membership agreement they signed; but desire to have you sign up for membership, that they may glory in your potential attendance.
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.