A Case for Church Membership as Biblically Required


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by John Ellis

The topic of church membership can be quite contentious. Eschewing organized religion, some professing Christians believe that churches are unnecessary at best and promote hypocrisy and division at worst. Others accept the need for churches but deny that church membership is Biblical. For them, church membership is an extra-Biblical requirement taught by those more concerned about power than about unity and love. “After all,” they protest, “I don’t need to be a member of a church to know that I am a child of God.”

For many Christians, though, church membership is simply white noise; something they dutifully do because it’s what is done. But they do so without giving much thought as to why.

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Youth Groups: A Good Idea or a Bad Idea?


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by John Ellis

As a teenager, I loved my youth group. On Sunday mornings I eagerly entered the youth group room, which contained not just a ping pong table but an air hockey table, too. I mean, what teen boy doesn’t enjoy hanging out with friends and flirting with girls?

After our Sunday school lesson was over, we’d easily slide back into our pre-class activities. The only hiccup in our fun was having to make sure that we made it to our seats in the sanctuary before the worship service began. To be honest, that wasn’t really that big of an issue. Since we all sat together, usually crammed into two pews, we were able to continue our teenage activities, albeit in far more muted ways than in the youth group room.

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The Coming Real-Life Jurassic Park and Other Stories of Note

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by John Ellis

It’s time for another round of links to some of my favorite PJ Media articles. Below are links to eight articles that I’ve written over the last couple of weeks. Some of them have proven more controversial than I anticipated while writing them. However, some of them met my expectations for controversy, especially my article about evolution that has over 600 comments, many of them angry.

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The Church Is Filled With Hypocrites … and Other Reasons to Skip Church

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by John Ellis

Is it necessary for Christians to attend church? Well, first off, if you understand who/what the Church is, the question is nonsensical. The Church is the Bride of Christ; God’s people being reconstituted into a new Kingdom. For a professing Christian to distant himself from the Church is, in essence, a renunciation of Christianity. You can’t be a Christian and not be a member of the Body of Christ – the Church.

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I HATE Authority!

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by John Ellis

Two years into our marriage, my wife and I sold almost all of our furniture, reserved a moving van for our remaining possessions, and announced to the Elders of our church that we were moving to California. The Elders informed us that we were making a mistake. That, of course, ticked me off. We spent many hours attempting to rationalize to them why it was “God’s will” for us to move. They spent many hours praying for us and attempting to show us that it was a bad idea for a young married couple with a toddler and no job prospects waiting in California to pick up and move over two thousand miles away from our church and support network. They also counseled me that as new Christian, and less than a year removed from a crisis of faith as I was confronted with God’s sovereignty while watching my mom die, that it was probably best for us to stay where God had us so that I could continue to be discipled by those who knew and loved me. The ins-and-outs of this anecdote probably deserve a several thousand word post in order to be adequately unpacked. Suffice to say, after a month of being confronted about my pride, foolishness, and general stupidity, the Holy Spirit, through the patience and wisdom of our church leaders, protected me and my family and opened my eyes to the wisdom of our Elders. We stayed in Greenville, SC.

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