Thursday, March 17, 2011

This promises to be a fun conversation

Tim Challies posted something this morning and because his blog attracts lots of people from across the spectrum, the discussion has been interesting. His post is 5 Reasons You Need to Join a Church and Tim lays out five reasons he thinks you need to "join" a church. I asked the question of what he meant by "joining a church" but the conversation has already veered where I thought it would, into the notion of "official church membership". It is an emotional topic because many people see the idea of being an "official" member of a church as sacrosanct. If you aren't a member, you are not "under authority". Back a few years ago a popular Christian professor and author claimed that those who weren't members of a local church weren't even part of the universal church! Others, like me, reject the idea because it simply is not in the Bible. I also see it as a divider between Christians to label certain Christians as "members" of "my church" to the exclusion of people who are "members" of a different church.

Whatever your position is on "official church membership", it is worth your time to check out and interact with the conversation going on. The lines are drawn pretty clearly and are pretty obvious!


Alan Knox said...


You're such "a crazed lone wolf Christian who hates the church and rejects authority."

I agree with all 5 points, but don't think any of them require or even suggest church membership as it is commonly practiced. In fact, I don't think formal church membership will help with those 5 points at all.

What will help? Recognizing and living what it means to truly be a member of the church, i.e., a member of Christ's body.


Arthur Sido said...


I agree. I think all five points are important. I don't think any of the five points requires formal membership. I think that in many ways formal church membership systems can hamper achieving those five points.