Your vote for President of the United States is important, yes. But your vote on whom to receive as church members, even more so.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) October 21, 2012
While Russell Moore is a dean at Southern Seminary, a well respected speaker and author and a leader for the church around the world and I am a nobody with a blog in Indiana we do share something in common: neither of us has a vote in who to "receive as church members".
The Bible tells us to "be subject to the governing authorities" but nothing about choosing those authorities. The Bible tells us to love one another but nothing about picking and choosing which we will accept as brothers and sisters. The cavalier way we make such bold statement about "church membership" and other pragmatic traditions of man and grant them the authority of Scripture is deeply troubling.
When someone votes on whether to accept a Christian as a member of the "their church" or to allow them to partake of the Lord's Supper or whether or not they should be baptized, that person deigns to step into God's place and dictate terms to Him. Jesus often chooses the unlovely, the sick, the outcast as His disciples and as one of those I am eternally grateful that He chose me. With that in mind I don't get a say in who to accept as a member of His church.