I write to you to alert you to an injustice.
First, because you have many people that you are to shepherd, I’ll not assume that you know me.
I have been regularly attending the Church for well over a year now. This has not always been easy, but I do it because I believe that membership of a local church is an expectation for all believers (I am not one of those Christians who believe that it is OK Biblically to be a Christian on one’s own, or to ‘do church’ some other way.)
Without such membership the care and leadership by elders, the part that God has for me to play in the Body, and the discipline that is sometimes necessary – all Biblical requirements – don’t make sense.
The church’s statement of beliefs (on the website) imply that you agree with my stance. However, I recently found out that you don’t consider me to be a member.
This is because you say that members are not baptised attendees as the Bible says in Acts, but are only those people who have been successful in an application to join a separate legal entity, an incorporated association, that you have set up to run the church.
If I don’t join this association then I am not treated the same way as those that have. I can’t participate fully in the life of the church.
I can’t do anything about the fact that you have equated the local assembly with an earthly institution, but I want to be a full member of the assembly, so I went to apply. But to my dismay I found that you have put a legal impediment in my way: you have said that a member must be at least 18.
I am 16.
Yours in Christ
P.S. What makes this even more disappointing is that the law does not require such a hurdle.
P.P.S. I know that you are unlikely to change this rule – especially in the short term – so maybe you think that I can just find another church. But unfortunately, my research shows that there’s a good chance I will run into the same problem there as well.
Let’s get…Back to the Gospel.