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Voted Out Of My Church

Is it proper to vote on whether a "potential member" can join a church? Does that make the church more of an Elk's club than a church? Should members be voted out of a church?

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The danger of hte 'vote' is that the church members may refuse to agree with a person whose beleifs are the same if there is something (not in terms of beleifs) that the members don't like - it can be anything - if there were too many KKK members they might refuse to vote that a black can join the church!
---James on 7/10/11


lyn-- Most churches are open to anybody who wants to attend.
But membership involves committment (or should). I think a prospective member should show that their intention is honerable and their beliefs are compatible with others in the church.
---Donna66 on 7/5/11


who are we to judge in unrighteousness who can and can't attend a church. We don't know whom God loves.
---lynn on 6/30/11
1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, [concerning] him that hath so done this deed,

1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

1 Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
VERY biblical to put one out, or not take on ein
---francis on 6/30/11


who are we to judge in unrighteousness who can and can't attend a church. We don't know whom God loves.
---lynn on 6/30/11


When someone becomes a "member" of a church, he places himself under the authority of that church - accepting their teachings, customs, and discipline. Many people are not willing to do that. They attend the church much as they would any social club, but do not feel in any way bound by the church's discipline.

American Express commercials proclaim "membership has its privileges", and this is true. However, membership also has its responsibilties, and you cannot have one without the other.
---StrongAxe on 6/16/11




Evangelism, sharing your faith with the unsaved is God's commandment. Recall how Jonah refused to go as God commanded, to preach to the 120,000 people in Nineveh city because they were sinners deserving of punishment rather than God's grace? So God prepared a large fish which swallowed up Jonah, then spit him up onto the dry ground. Then God commanded him a second time, Go preach to the Ninevites. So this time he went and preached, whereby the people of the city repented and were spared from God's wrath. But in the last chapter, chapter 4, Jonah's heart still resented the people escaping God's wrath, so God showed him that if he could pity a plant, then likewise he should pity the people.
---Eloy on 6/8/11


There is a big difference between welcoming unbelievers in to hear the Gospel and ... accepting unbelievers as church members. I'm very much for the former. But against the latter.
---Donna66

I agree
---christina on 6/6/11


"But woe to you, teachers and Prideful ministers, hypocrites! for you all shut up the kingdom of heaven against persons: -Jesus Christ, Holy Bible
---Eloy on 6/6/11
1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump
---francis on 6/6/11


"But woe to you, teachers and Prideful ministers, hypocrites! for you all shut up the kingdom of heaven against persons: for you all neither go in yourselves, neither let you all them that are entering to go in. Go you all out into the highways and byways, and compel to come in, that my house may be filled." -Jesus Christ, Holy Bible
---Eloy on 6/6/11


Evangelism, sharing your faith with the unsaved is God's commandment. Recall how Jonah refused to go as God commnded, to preach to the 120,000 people in Nineveh city because they were sinners deserving of punishment rather than God's grace? So God prepared a large fish which swallowed up Jonah, then spit him up onto the dry ground. Then God commanded him a second time, Go preach to the Ninevites. So this time he went and preached, whereby the people of the city repented and were spared from God's wrath. But in the last chapter, chapter 4, Jonah's heart still resented the people escaping God's wrath, so God showed him that if he could pity a plant, then likewise he should pity the people.
---Eloy on 6/6/11




I believe Samuel was speaking of those in the church already who do these things not those who are not part of the body of Christ. I may be wrong though.
---willa5568

YOu are correct and thank you for pointing that out.

In my church former Adulters have joined. Those who used to be child molestors can join but they are not allowed to hold offices where they deal with children. It does not good to put temptation in the way of people.
---Samuel on 6/6/11


There is a big difference between welcoming unbelievers in to hear the Gospel and ... accepting unbelievers as church members. I'm very much for the former. But against the latter.
---Donna66 on 6/5/11


James L, I really like your post and Donna66. You are correct in what you say. Samuel is also correct to say what he did. Many can be shown the door, we are told in Scripture to do so to save the rest of the flock. From the time of apostolic church, this things had been happening, and we were told what to do in this circumstances. The churches that allow this things to go on are the one's that change the Truth for a lie. And of course there is many of them.
---Mark_V. on 6/6/11


I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.
Groucho Marx

Why would you want to belong to a church that does that?
---NurseRobert on 6/5/11


willa5568, If so, then those individuals attending the church are NonChristian and in need of salvation.
---Eloy on 6/5/11


Eloy,

I believe Samuel was speaking of those in the church already who do these things not those who are not part of the body of Christ. I may be wrong though.
---willa5568 on 6/4/11


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Samuel I do not agree with any thing that you post. There are child abusers, murderers, rapers, liars, thieves, prostitutes, which have been saved and converted to born-again Christians and now are saints of God. Recall how Moses murdered a man, an David committed adultery, and Paul had many Christians arrested and persecuted and he consented to Steven's death? So who is the condemned sinner in church whom thinks that they can exclude a person whom desires to become a member of Christianity? NOT, not in this lifetime, nor the next, for every seeking soul that a sinner in their synagogues of satan rejects, God will accept.
---Eloy on 6/4/11


Basic good point willa.

Eloy so a church should never condemn anyone. That worked will with churches that put up with child abusers in their church.

Yes we are all sinners true. But we are not to condone or cover over sin especially when it leads to pain for others.

If I found a wife abuser or child abuser in my church I would work with all my might to save the victom first and try to help the person to quit but they would have to do so outside of the confines of my church.
---Samuel on 6/4/11


//How you receive the Lord Jesus Christ will determine your salvation.
---mima on 6/2/11//
There is only one way to receive the Lord, so it is a matter of "IF"
---michael_e on 6/4/11


their is an order to break fellowship with a brother or sister. The one who see's it confronts them, then two or three witnesses and then the church. The purpose though is never to alienate them permanently from Christs' body but to bring them to shame and repentance. This is attested to when Jesus speaks of binding and loosing authority being given to the church.
---willa5568 on 6/4/11


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God's grace is extended to "ALL", and not for any condsemned sinner on a board in the church to vote upon. I would trash those church members even as Christ overturned the tables and whipped out those sinners in the House Of Prayer.
---Eloy on 6/4/11


You get voted out of your church when you take the name of God in vain.
Which means that what you have done had publicly blasphemed the name of God. If the church does not vote you out and stand and say publicly that we do not support this sin, then it makes witnessing difficult.

Putting one out which is biblical, is deone to protect the church members from sin, and to stand up for God

1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

So people are voted out. WHY:
1 Timothy 6:1 that the name of God and [his] doctrine be not blasphemed.
---francis on 6/4/11


Donna66,
good summary of seeker sensitive churches.

I have attended a few who may not have labeled themselves as such. They water down the bad news of sin, preferring terms like "messed up", "you're in a rut", "made bad decisions", etc

That creates a watering down of the gospel because if a person never hears the bad news of sin, they have no need for good news.

the "gospel" in these churches is "come to Jesus, He can change you life" instead of "Jesus saves sinners from the consequences of sin"
---James_L on 6/3/11


You get voted out of your church when you take the name of God in vain.
Which means that what you have done had publicly blasphemed the name of God. If the church does not vote you out and stand and say publicly that we do not support this sin, then it makes witnessing difficult.

Putting one out which is biblical, is deone to protect the church members from sin, and to stand up for God

1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

So people are voted out. WHY:
1 Timothy 6:1 that the name of God and [his] doctrine be not blasphemed.
---francis on 6/4/11


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Some churches call themselves "seeker friendly", which, in truth, every church should be. But some of these churches expend so much effort in appealing to people by entertainment and fellowship and activities, that the Gospel is no longer the heart of their teaching and preaching.
---Donna66 on 6/3/11


donna - what do you mean by "seeker friendly churchs"

Jesus did not spend time with the elders and wise men of the church he spent time with the poor and helpless. We should do the same by letting all people into church and allowing God to change them weather they be full of sin or just lightly sinful. Following the church discipline steps in Matthew yes a person can and needs to be voted out of the church for not turning away from sinful acts or theology after many attempts to allow for repentance.
---Scott on 6/2/11


Many Liberals also wanted to dilute the Gospel by watering down the purpose of the death of JESUS. The importance of the blood.

Also they doubted the Bible as being authoratative.
---Samuel on 6/2/11


//How you receive the Lord Jesus Christ will determine your salvation.
---mima on 6/2/11//

very good mima, but to go a little farther "IF" you receive the Lord.
---michael_e on 6/2/11

I think 'if' is imbedded in the 'how'.

If you believe in Jesus is truly determined by how He sees the relationship. Many 'believe', but will be sent away because their is no true relationship.
---aka on 6/2/11


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Gerald Kimble-- The split between Liberal and Conservative churches resulted in part because they disagreed on who should become members.

The liberals felt their membership should be open to all, in order to "convert" and/or minister to whoever was in need. (Sort of like today's "seeker friendly churches)

Conservative Christians feared the dilution or corruption of the Gospel by opening their membership to believers and unbelievers alike.
---Donna66 on 6/2/11


//How you receive the Lord Jesus Christ will determine your salvation.
---mima on 6/2/11//

very good mima, but to go a little farther "IF" you receive the Lord.
---michael_e on 6/2/11


I Have good news for all who've been voted out of churches. Whether or not a Church votes you in or voteS you out has no effect on your salvation. How you receive the Lord Jesus Christ will determine your salvation.
---mima on 6/2/11

WRONG!!!!
Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.
---francis on 6/2/11


I Have good news for all who've been voted out of churches. Whether or not a Church votes you in or voteS you out has no effect on your salvation. How you receive the Lord Jesus Christ will determine your salvation.
---mima on 6/2/11


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very god point Francis. Thank you.
---Samuel on 5/31/11


We need to look at what the BIBLE says. People need to be serious about joining the church. WHY?
Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

1 Timothy 6:1 that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

There are some people who want to be part of the church, but their PUBLIC sin willmake witnessing to other imposible. The church needs to say that these are not YET part of us.

Acts 5:13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
---francis on 5/25/11


It is just my opinnion but I think we should have our doors open to anyone who would what to join the church, however in this day of people who want to get in to start problems from within I also can see where a church might have a reason to deny a person to join the church . what was this persons agenda? was he/she a raticle just wanting to get in and effect the church body? I think it a shame we would even have to even question this subject but the liberal agenda is getting dangerous and there is people attacking the christian faith from within, the liberal politics has effected the way people think and act, so I ask what was there reasonning behind there decission?
---Gerald_Kimble on 5/25/11


Well elder we are in agreement here. You gave somve very good points.

It seems it also true that many depend on the Pastor or equivalent to do all this without the church body involved.
---Samuel on 5/25/11


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Elder,

I don't think you read what I said because all of those questions were answered. As far as the constitution issue, I am not so subjective to think I am right about everything that I would bind myself or anyone else to this.Christ prayed that we would be one as he and the Father were one. Is that what church constitution encourage?
---willa5568 on 5/25/11


I am impressed that some read and commented on I Cor. 5. The remarks are correct. The man was placed outside of the church fellowship and protection. His sin was judged in this way. Later when he repented the Church still rejected him. Paul had to correct them on that issue also.
willa5568, as far as voting on members being ridiculous does your Church allow just anyone in as a member? How about those who deny Christ and are there to destroy the Church? Does your Church have a constitution? Do you know what it says? Does your Church have a Scriptural plan to deal with unrepentant members? If you dont then that is what is ridiculous.
---Elder on 5/25/11


Voting on members is ridiculous. ---willa5568 on 5/25/11
It is NOT a vote, it is an agreement by the members that this individual should not be a member at this time. And that is very biblical.

Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven
John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.
---francis on 5/25/11


1Corinthians5:5 "deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord"
The purpose was not to vote him out but bring him to repentance.
2Corinthians 2:6-9 "For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him...So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might...know whether you are obedient in everything"

Voting on members is ridiculous. The only requirement you will find in scripture is confessing the Lord Jesus and his resurrection and baptism in his name. It is not anyone's place to determine if someone is "worthy" to be part of their church.
---willa5568 on 5/25/11


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A church certainly does not have to accept a member, but they usually leave that judgment to the pastor as shepherd of the flock. And Christian charity usually dictates that that an offender not be subject to public embarrassment.

In the case of 1 Cor 5, the sin of a certain member was already the subject of gossip.
I Cor 1:5It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you.. The previously tolerant church body, was advised by Paul to turn this extreme fornicator over to Satan... not to eat or associate with him. The idea was, if I read scripture correctly, that, apart from the fellowship and protection of the church, the consequences of his fleshly behavior might eventually turn him back to Christ.
---Donna66 on 5/24/11


1Cr 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

1Cr 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

Good point elder. The church was called on to throw a member out because of his sleeping with his father's wife.

So yes the church can vote out a member which to me implies they do not have to accept a member.
---Samuel on 5/24/11


Here is another blog that dates back to 07. It proves that people don't know what the Bible says. Someone please read I Cor 5 and then comment.
---Elder on 5/22/11


All churches are cultic, to a certain degree. We must make sure we are in the faith by reading the Word of God and knowing what God requires of us and not man! That is the main thing.No one denomination has all of the answers. We are all mistaken on one point or another. One doctrine or another. God knows this because we are human.This is why God looks upon the heart and we (christians) don't have this ability. Thank God.God knows who are his and our intents and level of sincerity. Man does not know this.Leaders,teachers,preachers and other people in positions of authority are here to help us along but our salvation is ours---to work out and own.Our relationship with Christ is very personal.
---Robyn on 5/22/11


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Denominational churches accept anyone having a questionable character - gays, thieves, etc. But the true church of Christ only accepts those who repent and is baptised and who does not belong to a worldly church. These people will not be allowed into heaven. Denominational, or worldly, churches have teachers and preachers that are wolves in sheeps clothing leading astray the people in the congregation.

The true church of God does not belong to the world. The true church are people who belong only the body of Christ.
---Steveng on 5/22/11


Cluny ... You are wrong.
None of the Baptist churches I know have any voting about membership
---alan8566_of_UK on 5/21/11


//Standard practice in every Baptist church that I've been in//cluny

how many is "every"?

How to Join Harpeth Heights (Nashville) from website:

1. Profession of Faith and Baptism...
2. Transfer of Letter from a Like-Minded Church...
3. Statement if 2 is not available...
4. Believers Baptism by Immersion...

most likely, most mainstream baptist churches have similar practices. (I have never been to primitive, missionary, and free-will, so i cannot speak for them.)

I have not been in one that practices voting in members. since i live in the bible belt, i have visited more than a few for various reasons.
---aka on 5/21/11


I've never heard of a protestant church (Baptist or otherwise) "voting" someone "in" as a member. There may be some ceremony that signifies approval of the congregation, but in my experience, the decision belongs to the pastor.

As for removing someone from the church, in most churches, the pastor and/or other church leaders speak to a person privately, telling them why they are no longer welcome. The congregation is not involved and perhaps not even informed
(I believe JWs may be an exception. They dis-fellowship people as a body I believe, but still only with the backing of their leaders)
---Donna66 on 5/21/11


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If no one knows this person how do you know if they are a good Christian?

Cluny suppose a person walks in to your church and says I want to join. Do you want to know anthing about that person? Are they a known criminal in the town?

In the Didache a person had to be tested and taught for a year before joining a church.

This practice of the Early Church Fathers to me is biblical.

Chirst is risen indeed.
---Samuel on 5/22/11


\\A lot of churches are doing things that are not biblical now.\\

Like not meeting YOUR needs, as you complained about elsewhere?

||No it is not proper to join a church through voting. Never heard of it before.||

Standard practice in every Baptist church I've been in, Robyn.

Of course, that's just one of the many unbiblical thing Baptists--and other Protestants--do.

Christ is risen!
---Cluny on 5/21/11


We are a member of the body of Christ, the church, not a church. If I have to be interviewed and voted on, how is that going to mean anything, it's not a job. Regardless if it usually unanimous or not, how can someone who usually doesn't even know you say you are worthy to become part of their church. From what I understand water baptism is a sign of believing the Gospel, that is the "initiation" into the church. No voting or interview ,it's not for me to say you are or aren't good enough for us.
---willa5568 on 5/21/11


Corinthians 5:5 deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.


1 Timothy 5:24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment, and some men they follow after.


WHen people sin openly, it makes it difficult for the church to witness.

the church must then stand and condemn that SIN. That is why the church votes at times that someone must not ( YET) be a member. That someone may or MUST continue to attend church*, but will not be known as a member of the body of christ.

1 Timothy 6:1 that the name of God and [his] doctrine be not blasphemed
---Francis on 5/20/11


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CHURCHES ARE SOCIAL CLUBS!
So yes members should be voted in just like other clubs (i.e. Elk's Club)

YEP! NO G-D IN THEM!
---John on 5/20/11


actually it is not a vote. It is an agreement by the menbers based on what the Bible says.

Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.
---francis on 5/20/11


No...that is a lot of man made hooey. I would not go along with that.Find somewhere else to worship God in Spirit and in truth. A lot of churches are doing things that are not biblical now. Be careful and be aware of false prophets and wolves who want to dominate and control you. This is not of God.
---Robyn on 5/19/11


Those who are voted out of church are blessed.
---duke on 12/15/07


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No it is not proper to join a church through voting. Never heard of it before. I feel it is wrong to do something like this. There are too many churches around for you to be worried about this one. Ask God to lead you to another church. Sounds cultic, to me.
---Robyn on 5/29/07


I am so thankful that I didn't have to read a decree, and sign my name to a book just so I could become a member. The only book that matters is the book of life. If you name isn't in there, I'd be worried.
---Rebecca_D on 5/7/07


If one is a child of God, they are in the family of God. Other Christians are your brothers and sisters. THAT is the only "membership" we need. As for the church building, that is where God's family meets to learn of and praise Him. The earthly "business" of a church requires memberships and quotas and attendance numbers for pride and monitary increase. Is it right? Read your Bible.
---mikefl on 5/4/07


You know sue how the devil will say "you are the only one". Thank God I am not such an odd ball, even tho God took me out. I wrestled with God over that for so long, and it did no good .
---catherine on 5/3/07


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This is one reason why I quit going to church. I can worship God in my own house, or wherever I want. I do not need a church where people will decide if I'm up to their standards in order to worship God.
---sue on 5/3/07


Members shouldn't have to be voted in. It is not an election. It is like you have to meet their standards before you can "join" their church. I have never signed my name before joining a church. What happens to the ones that doesn't get voted in? If Jesus were alive in the flesh today, would such churches have to "vote" on whether or not he can be a member? Would he be voted in? It is stupid in deciding who becomes a memeber and who doesn't.
---J. on 5/2/07


I have heard of people being voted out of the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall because of disobedience to elders.

Every organization known to man, has it prerequisites for membership. In the case of a church, all ones needs do is pick yourself up and go down the street to another church - maybe one that better fits your belief system.
---lee on 5/2/07


I have always attended churches where the members were voted in by the congregation. It is a rubber stamp thing. First we are interviewed by the elders, and then we are presented to the congregation at the end of a service, and the congregation always votes unanimously.
---Madison1101 on 5/2/07


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No way. And my blood is boiling. Yes, it's an Elk's club. I don't know why God doesn't close it down. One more thing. These people don't know you. God does.>>>[I am assuming that you or they are born-again].
---catherine on 5/2/07


Brad, that sounds absolutely horrible and counter to everything that Jesus taught and every example He set.

It is true that if someone refuses to walk in the light, we are to shun him or her, but only after warning that person of their sin and giving them oppportunity to repent. But people should not be "voted" out. And the doors should always be open to take people back in when they are ready.
---lorra8574 on 5/2/07


A great deal is up to the local church as to rather a potential member gets to join. Usually, it's simply a "rubber stamp" situation. The potential member has been "interviewd" by the pastor and the church simply takes his word that this person would be a good member. Being "proper" has nothing to to with it. It's done, (at least on paper), to protect the other members. A person can be voted out if what they are doing is not up to Biblical standards or church policy
---wivv on 5/2/07


A person shouldn't have to be voted in to be a member of a certain church. The people of the church shouldn't vote other people in or out of the church. Church should be open to all, and no one should have to sign their name to a piece of paper just so they can be part of that church. That is just silly.
---Rebecca_D on 5/2/07


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The church is NOT American Idol--you shouldn't be able to vote whether or not people stay or leave. If a church acted like that, I'd run far and fast!
---Mary on 5/2/07


The church would have had a vote as to what kind of criteria they use to accept or reject members. They are following what they have agreed upon. Scripturally, the overseers have been given the responsibility to do this, not the congregation. Unfortunately, most churches these days run like clubs just like you said, instead of implementing a theocracy. Everyone who is asscoiated with that church will have to live by the same rules.
---john on 5/2/07


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