Why Not Do Church Membership?

January 9, 2013

Friends,
Though I’ve “gone to church” almost every week of my life (until the last couple of years when it has been sporadic), I don’t remember that I’ve ever signed up to be a church member. At least not since I’ve been an adult. And though at times I’ve felt considerable pressure from friends and pastors to do so, I deemed it as out of the question. Pledge myself to a group of people, bylaws, and authority figures who congregate in a particular building? Why? There’s no Biblical basis for such a pledge.

A friend emailed me this week about her distress over church membership, so I decided to write a post on it. However, being I chose to google the subject, I found a really great article, too good to not share in its entirety. Here it is:

http://www.wickedshepherds.com/churchmembership.html

This author writes that “going to church” is not spoken about in the New Testament, and I concur. Furthermore, though I sometimes use the word “church” to mean a building or a set time of corporate worship, I completely agree that Christ’s true church is one body, and that that Body is Christ Himself, each (genuine) Christian being a member of Him, not of a particular group of people.

I took note of his reference to Acts 7:48, for each of us (our bodies, our spirits) is a temple of God. This, as opposed to the old way of worship (–at a given place –v. 46,47 // John 4:20-24), is the fantastic thing about the New Covenant! Acts 7:48 says, “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men.”

Let’s read that verse again. And think about the idolatry surrounding the system of “going to church”, and that of “joining a church”, particularly in light of the fact that Jesus not only taught that His people are not to exercise authority over each other (Matt. 20:25,26), but that to invoke an oath is something that comes from the evil one. (5:33-37) And especially when it would mean we’d be aligning ourselves with those who are trying to divide the Body of Christ (Jude 1:19) into separate bodies, and who likely worship or serve God by “mere natural instinct but do not have the Spirit.” (See same verse)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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