Is Church Membership Really Necessary?

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by rrfranks, Apr 15, 2014.

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  1. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Rom 12:5, "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."

    1 Cor. 12:25, "That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."
    Ver. 26, "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it."
    Ver. 27, "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."

    Eph 4:25, "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another."

    The congregation is a divinely instituted and well-defined body of people with reciprocal privileges and duties one towards another. There must be a means of identifying this body and the Scripture teaches this is accomplished in terms of membership. Without membership it would be impossible to function in an ordinary and orderly manner.
  2. Pilgrim Standard

    Pilgrim Standard Puritan Board Sophomore

    I believe this statement, in light of the verses quoted above, is indisputable.
  3. MarieP

    MarieP Puritan Board Senior

    There is a family that has been attending my own church for many years, but they haven't joined because of an issue of conscience. As unwarranted as their reason seems (at least based on what they told me), I believe they are true Christians. It's sad that they will not join us, though I wonder if they will before too long, based on some things that are proving their fears unfounded. I don't know what kind of oversight they get, or if they partake of the Supper (I think they do). The wife is involved in our ladies' missions prayer group, and we are blessed by her prayers. She also has a kind, giving spirit. It feels like their family are members, but they aren't officially.
  4. Unoriginalname

    Unoriginalname Puritan Board Junior

    I agree, we too often think of membership in a club sense, the goal is not to be a club member at a church, but to be vitally a part of church. Joined to it by vows, serving in what ever complicity the Lord allows and being under the care of the elders. We are not looking for a christian resume, but a vibrant christian life that lives in the church Christ founded.
  5. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    One of the many doctrines that needs to be taught in the ordinary course of preaching and teaching the Scripture is the doctrine of the church. Particularly in the Reformed Faith, which has a "high" view of the church.

    In our generation, this has become a distinctive of the Reformed Faith (as opposed to 'broad evangelicalism'). The Scripture teaches the Christian life is both individual and corporate. It is both. And that needs to be taught and modeled by practice to visitors, regular attenders and members.
  6. HanleyBri

    HanleyBri Puritan Board Freshman


    Partakers need to be baptized, a profession of faith and need to be examined by the Elders of a church. Membership is not always necessary - they may have good reasons why they are only an adherent.

    - Brian
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