Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Church membership

For the good part of this year, i have been thinking of becoming a member of the church. Not just an attender but a proper official member. I hadn't thought it through very hard until this weekend but i have thought about it maybe a dozen times this year. I am unsure as to why i wanted to do this but i am settled here at my church in Pt Augusta so it seemed like the right thing to do. The subject of confirmation came up at a bible study i attend and it was then that i discovered that in the uniting church that is the same as church membership.
I asked the question, what is the point of being confirmed or becoming a church member as it seemed to me that it should be a fairly obsolete thing. Well, i opened a whole can of worms as far as my bible study group was concerned (It consists of the minister and the church council chairperson). Apart from being able to be on church council and vote on church council matters, there doesn't seem to be any other benefits apart from the pride of being a member of the uniting church.

I asked the minister if i could join his confirmation classes the following week after discussing it with Simon and he was very, very pleased to have me involved. I have since been given some reading material and have talked about it with a few different people.
I am not one to commit to anything if it is not absolutely necessary but perhaps i thought that maybe this was something i could change about myself.

Our congregation is a member of the Assembly of Confessing congregations (ACC) which as far as i can tell is a group that split from the main body of the uniting church when the church decided to ordain homosexual people as ministers. Now personally i believe that the bible is the absolute truth and we should use it as a guide for living our lives and i also agree with the views of the ACC
BUT... i do not agree with the promotion of the ACC and all the time and effort that has gone into establishing it and building it up to become a separate body. I don't have exclusive allegiance to the uniting church either, it just happens to be the church that we are part of at this stage in our lives.
All the energy and time that has been invested into dividing the church once again, this idea of we are right and you are wrong seems to miss the point clearly. Who are we as people to think of ourselves greater than anyone else just because we think we are right about a particular issue. Shouldn't we be investing this time and energy into loving others, the hurt and lonely and poor, feeding them, clothing them, showing them who JESUS really is, not who the church is.
I think a major problem with the church today is that it is trying so hard to get back its reputation and fill pews that it has lost the big picture. It is more about getting bums on seats and money in the offering plate than loving those who need it most. (I know this is not the exclusive objective of the church but often it seems like it)
Now i know that i suck at doing these things and because i was raised in the church and am surrounded by church people, i have a tendency to get caught up in this way of thinking but i am trying to be more like Jesus, i am trying to make a difference or at least wanting to.

My Dad warned me about getting involved in church politics, he's been there done that. I don't know what his opinion on all this is but he just said "Don't get involved unless it's absolutely necessary" This has caused me to reconsider whether to become a church member or not, but on the other hand there is this niggling going on saying do it, you might need it for what is planned for you in the future.

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