Oct 23, 2005

Voting One Into The Church


There are churches (probably in your neighborhood) that reserve the right to vote for, or against, you becoming a member of the Lord's church.

Voting whether or not to accept your request for baptism into Brand X church is totally ridiculous! If you believe in Jesus, God forgives you, and Christ adds you to His church; who am I to vote to accept or reject your membership into His body? I discussed this voting travesty with a member of the Southern Baptist Church, and the person said that while this was a practice of their church, they had never barred a baptismal candidate from becoming a member of their church; yet they continue to presume the right to vote you IN or OUT.

Since no one but God can know the heart of a repentant sinner, how can we judge any persons worthiness to become a Christian based on our meager information about them, and then decide whether or not to accept their hand in fellowship? A person who may have been the worlds worse reprobate last week may have discussed his situation with the Lord and made drastic changes. How can any group of Christians be so presumptuous as to vote whether you enter the church, and ultimately your eternal destiny?

If any of us are in a church that rejects the misfits, the torn and tattered, the prostitutes, or any sinner that desires to be baptized and wants to be a part of the Lord's church, we need to seriously reexamine our Christian belief system.

11 comments:

jettybetty said...

Even though I don't know many churches that do this--I suppose there are quite a few that technically *could*.

I want to be careful to make all those that do come to the church I am a part of feel really accepted--and not *voted* out because of my apathy.

LEM'S Politics said...

The Apostle Paul and Laymond Meredith probally would be voted out of such a church, so I suppose we are well off to belong to Christ's Church where there is only one judge.

iggy said...

I would just say... let 'em vote...
Why? so they can let the ones playing religious games at their church and the rejected ones can go on to a church that cares for them and grow in Christ.

Blessings
iggy

Thurman8er said...

I have never, NEVER, understood the concept of membership in a congregation. Christianity and exclusivity do not mix well.

I'm grateful, so grateful, to be a member of the church.

Larry said...

Steve...
Being a member of the His church is the ultimate membership. My faith and obedience to His will adds me to His church, regardless of human intervention.

Iggy...
They may move on to another "church," but they just might feel so rejected they give up!

JB...
I have no doubt with your great attitude you would make them feel welcome immediately. :)

Laymond...
You and the Apostle Paul might be booted out of some denominations, but certainly not rejected by Jesus from being added to His church.

Sandra said...

I am a worship minister...I feel like I've been "churched" all my life, (because I have) and I have never heard of a place that votes whether or not you can be baptized or become a member. I feel kind of silly, like maybe I should have know about this...

The other side of me is so very grateful I've never been involved in a place that takes that kind of powerful judgement over their fellow man.

Larry said...

Sandra...
My Grandmother attended the Southern Baptist Church, and when a person wanted to become a "member" of their church they took a vote as to whether or not to accept them. We had a great many discussions concerning this twist of scripture.

They believe you are saved prior to baptism, and that baptism is basically only a means for one to enter into "their" church.

I find it rather difficult to swallow any teaching that might preclude a believer from being added to the Lord's church!

cwinwc said...

I was raised in a southern Baptist church and I never witnessed such a vote. Baptist churches are in many ways like our fellowship where we need Dr. Mac Lynn's Directory of Churches of Christ with it's numerous abbreviations to distinguish a one cup church from a no Sunday School church.
kosesp

Larry said...

cwinwc...
I never "witnessed such a vote" either. My Grandparents, and several others in this particular church told me that a vote was taken when a person wanted to "join their church."

This church was the "First Southern Baptist Church"; I don't know if they differ from the "Southern Baptist Church" in this respect.

I certainly hope this was an isolated event practiced only by this particular church. It's my understanding that they had never denied "membership" to anyone desiring to join them, but even assuming the right to vote in this manner is scary.

I had many discussions with my Grandparents about this subject, and could never get them to understand that it wasn't the right of mere humans to decide who would enter the Lord's church.

Stoogelover said...

We have no right voting anyone in ... you covered that well. However, being a preacher the past almost 30 years, I've seen more than a few I'd love to vote out! :)

Larry said...

Greg...
I'm sure you have been tempted at times to drag out the old ballot box. :)