Yesterday Kevin DeYoung had a great post on why church membership is important. Then Scott Clark chimed in with some biblical considerations as to whether or not church membership is actually taught in the Bible. If you think about it from the perspective of the marks of the church, membership is a no-brainer. One of the marks of a true church is the faithful exercise of discipline. But how you can excommunicate someone (or warn them that they will be excommunicated) if they’re not a member? I’m reminded of what Josh Harris says in his book Stop Dating the Church. He discusses questions that you should ask when looking for a church. One of them is something like: “Will this church love me enough to kick me out if I stray in doctrine and life?” Good question, but it presumes that church membership is practiced. An important corollary question would be: “Does this church love God and his Word enough to practice Biblical church membership?” And one more: “If it doesn’t, does it even deserve the name ‘church'”?
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