already members

Tomorrow Heather and I are going to "become members" of the church here. I've been a bit conflicted about it, but most all of my past complaints about church membership aren't an issue here, with the way they do membership. Over a year ago, I wrote about how I appreciated the commitments they use in their membership process. And for us it hasn't been much of a process; we've been recognized as Christians from the beginning of our time here, so this is mostly a formality. I do think it will help some people feel more comfortable, though, if we publicly agree with their commitments.

To make things as clear as possible, however (and perhaps make myself feel a little better), I'm making a few adjustments. In the commitments, instead of being asked, "Do you commit to...", we'll be asked, "Are you committed to...." To emphasize that we are not becoming members of the church, the body of Christ, tomorrow morning; we have been members of the body for some time.

We also get to say a few words, so I'm going to mention my difficulty with church membership in the past, and emphasize that Christ (not us) determines the nature of his body the church, and he (not us) is the one who decides who is in and who is not. Unlike other organizations that are abstract "bodies" based on common principles and doctrines and structures, the church is a real, living body because it is the body of the real, living Jesus (and all who are his). This is who we are committed to. I don't mind answering the questions because I believe they are simply a part of following Jesus. But we are not joining the church tomorrow, rather we are publicly confessing that we are members of the body of Christ, and we are grateful for the others here who are recognizing us as their brother and sister.