Baptist Press recently ran this article about church membership. Read it and let me know what you think. Is it truly too easy?
On one hand, I see the author's point? Why should I expect a church to accept me as a member just because I "do the right thing?" As the author states:
One of the easier organizations to join is a Baptist church. Not much is required. Walk down an aisle, gently grasp the pastor’s hand, nod affirmatively at his leading questions, correctly fill out the card on the clipboard, stand before the congregation and listen to their “Amen” as the pastor asks if they are “glad you have come today.” As one who once was a church member before becoming a Christian, I am aware that it is quite possible to join some churches without being a follower of Christ.
On the other hand, does the body have this right? The only person who knows if I am saved or not is the Almighty God. How can men judge that?
Right now, I'm undecided but leaning towards the "proving" part…at least in some basic way. I should have to demonstarte to my brothers and sisters that I should be allowed to join them. They should know me before they allow me to join. If they don't know me, how can they vote up or down? And, as God says:
For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.