Have you ever struggled with the idea of church membership? Have you ever thought it sounds rather archaic or Victorian? Have you ever thought it sounded rather intense or even over the top? If so take a read of this fabulous quote by Jonathan Leeman from ‘The Rule of Love’.
“Christians cannot fulfill their new covenant obligations of love and holiness with all Christians everywhere. Just as we could say, “Don’t tell me you belong to the army if you never report for duty anywhere,” so I’d says, “Don’t tell me you belong to the new covenant if you never ‘put on’ the new covenant with actual brothers and sisters in Christ.” We practice, we exercise, we “put on” those obligations to Christ’s new covenant people concretely in local churches. The local church is where we have the opportunity to say: “This is my family. I am responsible for them, and they are responsible for me. When one of them is shamed, I am shamed. When one of them is honored, I am honored” (see 1 Cor. 12:26). The church is also the place where we’ll be held accountable to our covenantal vows of repentance and faith. If we have not covenanted together with a local church, how do we know we’re not self-deceived about our commitments?”Jonathan Leeman (The Rule of Love, pg110)