i can't stop thinking about this church membership thing...
on sunday, i said that church membership (at least as we have come to know and love it) is not really talked about in the bible. amazing. something that important and it's not addressed in the book?
well, that's not entirely true. even though church membership is not talked about specifically, there is enough said indirectly that we can get the picture...
when paul says in the roman letter that, as members of one body, we belong to each other, we get our most vivid glimpse of what god intends. we belong to each other. you belong to me and i belong to you. you're mine. i'm yours. we're stuck. or at least we should be if we are members.
i guess that's why the church as a family means so much to me and why we have to get our understanding of church membership from that image. if we don't, we run the risk of creating a faulty expectation for membership. paul talks about the church as a family in his letter to the ephesians:
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
households (or families) are complex, but it doesn't take a degree to understand what god expects! members of families belong to each other. they don't run away. they work out their problems. they share the responsibility. they own up to mistakes. when the dust settles, they are for each other, with each other, and connected to each other.
the church better wake up.