Posted tagged ‘Nine Marks of a Healthy Church’

Dangerous Is the State of Unregenerate Church Membership

May 22, 2008

Mark Dever, in his book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, explains how dangerous the perpetuation of unregenerate church membership is for the “inactive” member.  He writes:

If the church is a building, then we must be bricks in it; if the church is a body, then we are its members; if the church is the household of faith, then we are part of that household.  Sheep are in a flock, and branches on a vine.  Biblically, if we are Christians we must be members of a church.  This membership is not simply the record of a statement we once made or of affection toward a familiar place.  It must be a reflection of a living commitment or it is worthless.

Worse than being worthless, it is dangerous.  Uninvolved members confuse both real members and non-Christians about what it means to be a Christian.  We “active” members do the voluntarily “inactive” members no service when we allow them to remain members of the church.  Membership is the church’s corporate endorsement of a person’s salvation.  Yet how can a congregation honestly testify that someone invisible to it is faithfully running the race?

 – Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), 162-63. Emphasis mine.