I’m starting on a short book called “Church Membership”. It’s written by Jonathan Leeman from the 9Marks ministry of Mark Dever. Excellent stuff. I love the quality of material they put out and their heart to strengthen the local church.
The book is a small book and it’s meant to describe why and what church membership is. I’m looking forward to going through the book.
Why? Well because for some time now, I’ve heard some compelling philosophical arguments on why a church should have formal membership. What I have not heard are good exegetical reasons why formal membership is good. Are there some? I assume so because many of the brightest biblical minds that I lean on for other aspects of the Christian faith clearly endorse formal church membership. These are men not likely to just do something out of the tradition of doing something.
Am I looking to implement formal church membership. Not really, but maybe, if the biblical support is compelling. Three years ago I would not have thought my theology would be so reformed in it’s nature, but here I am today, really holding to some core reformed ideas. When it comes to church membership though, I’m not sold, though I am asking the question. This is good I think because as it stands right now, my apologetic on why I don’t hold to church membership is pretty weak. It goes like this – (1) We are all baptized into the universal church of Jesus. That’s 1 Cor 12. (2) Since we are all baptized into the universal church of Jesus, we are already members. Hence, what’s the point of being a member of a local church. Simple, right?
Actually, there’s lots of holes in that way of thinking. I’ll share more as I go through the book. For now, I’m simply hoping to have the courage to honestly challenge any tradition, including my tradition of having no tradition. (BTW, that is a tradition – “I am non-traditional” or “Our church is non-traditional”. Those stands form a tradition).