Church Membership

Since I walked away from Catholicism in January, my wife and I attend with our eighteen month old daughter a non-denominational Independent Southern Baptist leaning church. We both enjoy the service, it is a Bible believing church and we feel that the pastor is a wonderful man.

With that said, one thing that does bother me is that in order to be considered a member you must sign a membership agreement. I will not go into the what is in the agreement as there is only one thing that I disagree with and that is in regards to tithing. That is another subject for another time and frankly really prefer not to get into a conversation regarding tithing.

I have read the Bible cover-to-cover one and on my way through once again. I do not remember anything regarding having to sign a membership agreement in order to be considered a member.

So I am not sure what to think. This is the one church that is in our area that is within reasonable driving distance (it is only 1/2 a mile away) that both my wife and I agree on. It is a smaller church and the service time that we go to is perfect size for my mother-in-law who prefers a smaller congregation. I too enjoy smaller congregations as it feels more like family to me. They also have a really good children’s program that we want our daughter to be part of.

It is just that membership agreement that doesn’t sit well with me.

Any advice?

You aren’t required to be a member to attend the church.

If you don’t like the membership agreement, then don’t sign it.

Hard to answer your question when you won’t tell us what part of the agreement you object to.

All I can really say is that tithing is an OT concept taught to Israel, not to the Church. That’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t, only that you’re not obligated to. It should be a matter of conscience.

There’s no such agreement as you describe, but what we do see Biblically, historically, and traditionally, is that ember candidates are vetted before acceptance. We see this quite a bit in the Didache.

I don’t believe there’s anything unbiblical about such an agreement unless it asks you to agree to something Unbiblical. On the other hand, I believe it’s perfectly Biblical and reasonable to see that a member candidate is on the same page, doctrinally, philosophically, and mission oriented, before accepting him for membership.

I suppose that’s one of the pitfalls of having to go “church shopping”. You never really know what to expect until you’ve been there for a while. :shrug:

It’s pretty much having to sign the agreement itself that doesn’t sit well with me.

I can no longer be part of the Catholic church even though I was raised Catholic, so church shopping is what must be done to find a church to attend.

It’s pretty simple… if you don’t like it then don’t sign it.

I realized that by your post. I just think it’s sad that you (and apparently your entire family) feel it’s necessary to have to do that. With all the thousands of choices that are out there, it might take a while for you to find one that fits all of your requirements. Personally, I wouldn’t want to have to sign any kind of ‘agreement’ to belong to a church, either. If they insist, you’ll have to decide which is better, to sign it against your will, or find another church. There’s got to be one out there, somewhere, that fits the bill.

It really saddens me when some leaves the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I am sorry to sadden you and it is not my intent to do so.

I don’t think your main problem is signing some agreement. Your main problem is that you are trading the truth for something less. Now you are searching for a denomination that agrees with you, rather than searching for the truth and conforming your life to that truth.

Whatever your problem is with the Catholic Church, I would suggest that you concentrate on sorting it out rather than trying to find an alternative. There is no alternative.

God bless.

My advice would be to come back to the Catholic Church. :slight_smile: That’s probably not what you’re looking for, though. :wink:

As others have said, if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t sign it. It does strike me as a bit of an odd practice, but as Catholics, we are to profess the Creed every Sunday and we accept it when we first come into the Church. So I suppose it’s similar except for the fact that it is written down. Given the Protestant emphasis on Scripture (the written Word of God), I find the juxtaposition sort of fitting. For Catholics, a verbal confirmation is okay, but for Protestants, if it’s not written down, it’s not worth anything. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t mean to make light of your situation. :o It just sort of struck me.

It seems to me that they would be looking for commitment and also accountability. Those aren’t necessarily bad things. It does make you stop and think about what you are really signing off on. I suppose that’s the point. It forces a person to ask themselves if they are there because they really believe or just because it’s a pleasant enough place to take the family on Sundays.

Find another Church without the agreement.

I’m sorry, but I do not believe that the Catholic church holds the market on the truth. So do not presume to think what my main problem is because you would be wrong in that assumption.

I will not be part of a church that tells me that I must be married within their four walls, by there priest in order for my marriage to be valid in the eyes of God. I will not be part of a church that essentially tells me and my wife that we’re fornicating because we weren’t married within it’s walls by it’s priest. I will not be part of a church that because my wife doesn’t want to go back to being Catholic, nor go through con-validation, then asks me to betray my wife by going behind her back to get it validated via radical sanation.

In other words, you won’t be part of a Church that disagrees with your own views. You, then, have become the final arbiter of truth. Good luck with that. :wink:

Before I returned to the Catholic church around October of last year, I church hopped for five years prior after returning to God after leaving Him as a teenager looking for a church to attend. I went back to the Catholic church, but my wife wouldn’t attend with me. After finding out what I wrote in my last reply, I walked away from the church once more and I will never return.

The church where do attend now is the only church her and I do agree on that is within a reasonable distance from our home. So there is no other church without an agreement that her and I can agree on within a reasonable distance from our home and we tried many.

I have not become the final arbiter of truth, that was a nice attempt at discrediting me. I will not go with man made rules, and having to married within it’s walls by it’s priest is a man made rule.

I will not be part of a church that rivals the pharisees when it comes to rules.

I guess I just wonder, why are you asking the advice of devout Catholics if you don’t like the Catholic Church? :wink:

Am I not posting in the non-Catholic religion forum?

Might I ask why Catholics are coming into this part of the forum to proselytize?

…Because this is a Catholic Forum, and as far as they’re concerned everyone who doesn’t agree with the CC is mistaken?

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