Thursday, March 20, 2008

does the bible say anywhere that we MUST express our faith in christ by becoming members of the christian religion?

25 comments:

One Voice of Many said...

oooooooh... I get it. The title IS the post! I kept clicking and clicking...and clicking... Surely three more times should produce a different result from the first, right? RIIIGHT?!

Now that I finally realize that the question IS the question, I'll think about that some.

Michelle

Valorosa said...

Nope :-)

Susan said...

Once we are Christians there are no MUSTS! But since God thinks it is a good idea why wouldn't we? If you take the word "member" literally than obviously you are not going to find chapter and verse however if you take the intention of membership than I think it is everywhere in the Bible.

Some verses amongst many that I believe talk about membership: "the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved" Acts 2:47; "we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well" 1 Thessalonians 2:8; "And they went beyond our expectations; having given themselves first of all to the Lord, they gave themselves by the will of God also to us" 2 Corinthians 8:5. For me this is true membership where people commit themselves to each other by the will of God which is a far more demanding commitment than signing a piece of paper and having your hand shook by the pastor (or whatever the procedure is for membership these days).

If you want to think about OT than the Jews were all "members" of particular tribes.

Valorosa said...

Thinking about OT is not where our heads should be. Jesus came to take us out of the OT and a NEW covenant was made.

Membership of the body is not the same as membership of a church group. Church groups are really just social clubs anymore. The sheep are stifled by the hierarchy and told to "tithe' and "support" one man or woman and their families.

We are to fellowship with one another and take care of one another ... but that really doesn't happen in our churches today either ... the rich are still very rich and the poor are still very poor.

In 2 Corinthians 8 this is discussed. I have written on Susan's blog about this.

The sheep are stifled and sedated and told to cough up cash to keep a very ineffective organization going.

Why is it ineffective?
Because it is legalistic and holds a pretense of holiness and purity and grace but there is no reality of holiness and purity or grace generally speaking.

Nate said...

Susan, I agree with you that we become part of his church, or bride. But not the christian religion. To me they are very different things. So much so that I refuse to be called a christian. Too many negative connotations with that here in the USA, Canada, and the UK.

The christian religion stems, almost all, from the catholic church. Wher ethe origins of many denominations split with the catholic church, or split from some church that split from the catholic religion. That is what I don't adhere to.

But to become a member of Christ's church, most definately.

One Voice of Many said...

Hey guys! I brought tortilla chips, spicy salsa, and red wine with me tonight! Easy way to wrack up some calories AND it's spicy to boot!


The Christian 'religion' as we know it didn't exist in the days of the Biblical writings, so I'm going to go with 'no'. Each Christian religion has their own version of what it means to become a member also. My charasmania group just says that you fill out an application for membership, Baptists must be dunked as a final step, Methodists sprinkle, etc. The Bible would need to lay out some pretty clear steps required if that were, in fact, necessary.

Michelle

Nate said...

Michelle,
Thanks for the attempt to make up for that last glazed thing.

One Voice of Many said...

Nate -
What can I say - guilt moves me.

more wine?

jON said...

thank you for the snacks michelle. and a cermic sobraro serving dish to boot! you are quite the guest.

if you folks don't mind, i'm just going to sit back, munch, and enjoy. i have a friend who may be stopping by. chances are good that he will lurk, but welcome him anyway.

if you stop by, it's very good to see you. sit and listen as long or short as you like. feel free to jump in at any time. no thought is too outrageous here. share without fear as you feel lead.

One Voice of Many said...

dear jon's lurking friend - please feel as welcome here as the folks here have made me feel. My comments usually border on flat-out disrespectful with questions against statements of faith but it's due to years of frustration of wrestling with the "what ifs".

Feel welcome and be free!

:if you guys aren't going to take a glass, I'm gonna finish this bottle off myself!:

jON said...

a "dear jon's lurking friend" letter!

the classics never die.

Valorosa said...

Pass me a glass Michelle ... I could not bear the responsibility of letting you get too tipsy.

Not alone anyway lol

teasing ... ;-)

One Voice of Many said...

Val -
I appreciate your looking out for me! :-))

Michelle

Cheryl said...

Jon,
Thanks for the message on my blog. Maybe I am back - although I have often lurked - I just kinda lost the joy of writing for a bit. Anyway - just curious if you have read the novel "The Shack"? I am in the process of rereading. There is a part in the book that discusses this thought.

Pat Morales said...

Does it matter if the bible says we have to? Isn't it just enough that we believe in the basic underliying message that it is trying to tell all of us? But thats another question for a question.

Oh and by the way I am "Jon's lurking friend" and I thank you all for the welcome.

Heather said...

I'm late, I know. I am sooooo behind in my reader and I'm trying to catch up. I hope you saved me some wine!

The answer to this question is a resounding NO. The way we must express our faith is through becoming a follower of Jesus - that seems to be the only prerequisite that Jesus laid down.

Funny how he laid down something so open-ended as his basic commandment, though. Perhaps he didn't really want us to follow rules set by organised religion??? Hmmmm.

Nate said...

I went and got margarita stuff. You have to have that if there is a ceramic sombrero.

jON said...

so then, can you express your faith in christ as a member of another religion?

One Voice of Many said...

jon -
I think so, yes.

jON said...

i have nothing left here but crumbs, so i think i will finally speak as to what has transpired here.

i agree that there are no more MUSTS, but that it is important for us to live in community with one another.

and i also agree that there is a marked difference between being a member of "the bride" and being a member of the "christian religion." from my experiences and perspective, they are two different things.

i have never read "the shack" but i am hearing more and more about it and think i might just do that.

just what the importance of the bible is, and how we view that, is a question we have been discussing in brief here in the "abode" series, and seems like it will continue to some degree, at some point, over at grains of truth.

and yes, it would seem that jesus himself struggled hard against organized religion in his own day.

so i struggle to make sense of it all. to find a balance between a "faith community" and a physical community of people "down" for each other. of the former, i have the blog-o-sphere. a community of people who grapple with issues of faith, personal and corporate, in an environment of acceptance and love. but it is improbable for any of you to come to my aid in the physical realm if an emergency arises.

which is one reason why i wanted a gathering when you and little bro were in town, nate. so that you could witness first hand what happens here, and give witness to those happenings. so i'm curious, what your reflections are. not so much on the actual happenings, but rather on the spirit of the gathering which almost always decends at some point bringing with it openness, love, peace, joy, and a host of other positive things. what was your experience here engaging in the physical side of something else...?

Delirious said...

Actually, Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized. Jesus himself was perfect, and committed no sin, but still came to be baptized.

13 ¶ Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus obeyed the Father's will in being baptized, and set the example for us. The key in being baptized is the covenants that we make with God when we do. That is why we need the church, because it gives us the ordinances and covenants.

jON said...

jesus fulfilled it so we don't have to. "it is finished" is what i believe he said.

finished.

WHAT was finished?

Delirious said...

When Jesus said, "It is finished" he was referring to His mortal life, and the mission He came here to fill. He said this on the cross as he was dying.

One Voice of Many said...

Jon ... "it is finished..."

This statement is really why I haven't had much to say in these conversations. Not that I don't think the issues are important but I think that most of my answers are merely programmed in from the 'works' teaching that I was brought up on. I more fully believe, now, that Jesus finished all of the requirements and I don't have to concern myself with the issues much anymore. Grace is there to carry me through as I try to be a simple, friendly human being.

Michelle

Katherine Gunn said...

No.