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A churches right to choose.

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by turk179, Mar 26, 2006.

?
  1. yes

    23 vote(s)
    82.1%
  2. no

    3 vote(s)
    10.7%
  3. other

    2 vote(s)
    7.1%
  1. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    Sorry for the snip from 2 different posts, but you make 2 excellent points.:)

    If the question posed had been "Should churches exclude people because they are sinners?", I would answer emphatically "NO!" for the reasons you stated.

    The question, however, is "Should a church be allowed to choose it's members?", to which I answer emphatically "YES!"

    Think about it this way....If I walk into a Jewish temple or Islamic mosque and proclaim that I believe Jesus is the Messiah, should either congregation be required to accept me as a member? I think we can all agree the answer should be "no".
     
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  2. pdoel

    pdoel Active Member

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    I understand that point. I guess I just kind of think that a Christian isn't typically going to want to join a synagogue. So, in that respect, it's kind of a mute point. I'm thinking the question is more along the lines as within the same general religion. Should a Christian be denied membership to another Christian Church? In which case, I think the answer is no.

    Even along the lines of what you described above, there are Jews who have found Jesus. If a Jewish person belonged to a Church, and over time began to believe in Christ, would they be kicked out of their Synagogue?
     
  3. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I see your point. I'll stick to discussing membership.

    In my Church, all are welcome, but not all are members. One becomes a member through baptism and one cannot be baptised unless they have accepted Jesus Christ and are willing to covenant to follow his teachings.

    Positions in the Church are filled through revelation and inspiration from God given to those in leadership positions authorized to receive it.

    In my Church this is voluntary too in that we are not paid, but we believe we are called to the positions by God. We have no difficult finding teachers.

    Why wouldn't you worry about an unrepentant thief? They might attempt to teach the word of God, but how would they do so without the Spirit? Or are you going to tell me an unrepentant thief would be given the Spirit to instruct?

    Sounds like a wacko. I've never had a similar experience in my Church.
     
  4. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    This is a bit off-topic, but then for those of you who agree churches should allow whomever regardless of the doctrine taught. How do you feel about letting males into girl scouts, or a women's club? Or about letting some with a 1.5 GPA into Harvard? If there are certain specifications one must have to belong to the organization or church or whatever, how is that bad?
     
  5. pdoel

    pdoel Active Member

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    What I meant is that I wouldn't necessarily be afraid of allowing an unrepentant thief to teach Sunday School. I think too many times, people jump to conclusions. Someone could be an unrepentant thief because they need to steal to put food on the table. One sin does not make someone a bad Christian, or someone who cannot teach the word of God.

    There are many people who believe themselves to be wonderful Christians, who in all reality, don't follow God's word, and are completely unqualified to teach.

    I've seen many teachings of people claiming to be Christians, who I wouldn't want anywhere near my Children. Now, this isn't the majority of Christians, but there are many who show up and picket at events and spread propraganda that is anything but Christian. Yet, they are out there teaching that crap.
     
  6. pdoel

    pdoel Active Member

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    I actually wouldn't have any problem with that. I do believe that there are organizations out there that can be exclusive. There are many women's schools, women's gyms, men's schools, men's clubs, women's clubs.

    For years, the women's organizations seemed to be fighting many of the exclusive male clubs throughout the country. I always had to laugh because there are just as many exclusive female clubs. That seemed to be ok, but some women did NOT like the idea that there were clubs only for men.

    But when it comes to Churches, at least for Christianity (I won't speak for other religions), I have always been taught that we are to reach out and help others. We are to teach God's word wherever we can. We are taught that we are all sinners. With that in mind, I just cannot justify why a Christian Church would deny membership to someone who truely wanted to join the Church. I think it goes against everything God and Christ have taught us.
     
  7. evearael

    evearael Well-Known Member

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    A house of worship, in my humble opinion, has the right to choose whom they please to allow in, to give membership to, to marry, etc. That said, if they are frivolously rejecting people for reasons you disagree with, then obviously that house of worship is not worth your time. Though, taking away the tax breaks might be a great idea, because it is a sort of like a subsidy, which would violate church and state... Various groups can be as discriminatory, narrow and evil as they wish, as long as they do no harm and recieve not public funds.
     
  8. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    but we're not just talking about christian churchs........ i resent the fact that there are mens clubs and mens social gathering, and then womens clubs and womens social gatherings in my church because the male ones are just talking about football or marriage, and i can't go to the womens ones :149: feminin men and masculine women are left on the side, and i often hear jokes about "and guys, no matter how good you look in drag, we still won't let you in to our womens events" which are often responded to with a round of laughter ........ sorry, that was a tangent, and i personally don't like putting limitations on things, but i don't kick up a big fuss because i believe they have the right to put up criteria - equal but different!

    if you are going to argue religions are not allowed to disallow membership to people not meeting their criteria, you should also campaign for me to be allwed to be fully recognised and liscensed plumber, even though i don't know a thing about plumbing!
     
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  9. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Were we just talking about churches (as in Christian), or were we talking about religious organizations? I thought it was the latter.

    If it is, then religious organizations are not necessarily businesses. My local Baha'i community has no employees and has no property to tax. We're a cheap date. :biglaugh:

    Well, maybe. If I wanted to join a golfing club, I couldn't in Augusta, still they don't allow female members. And it's definitely a business.

    The assumption is that, _overall_, religious organizations give back to the community far more in helping others than they would pay in property tax.

    After Katrina, who was it who chipped in and showed competence better than anyone else? Uh...religious organizations. If we had hurricanes in Atlanta, I'd sure want the Baptists and the evangelicals and the Methodists and the AMEs around to help bail people out. (It's not like other organizations didn't do they're part, but in this part of the U.S., the religious market share is mostly held by these groups.)
     
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  10. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    So what would you do with a member who continually stood up at a religious organizations events and shouted his reasons for why everything the religion taught was wrong?

    You don't think it would be reasonable to ask the person to leave, since he doesn't agree with the teachings anyway?

    As someone else said, you can always find another religion. Or make your own. Whatever.

    That said, I would be very suspicious of a religious organization that picked and chose its members based on flimsy criteria. We've had enough of that "high yeller" kinda stuff already.
     
  11. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    I believe all the "major" religions have similar statements in their texts that allow expulsion of members in extreme cases.

    In mine, you can't expel someone for activities counter to the religion's teachings, but in extreme (and very public) cases, you can have your rights taken away. That means you can't give to the fund, can't vote, and can't attend the regular meeting every 19 days, but everything else is open to you. (The two most common things I've seen that people lose their rights over is 1. getting married w/o permission, and 2. being convicted of tax evasion.)

    To get expelled, you'd have to deny the authority of the main figures/organizations in the faith. In our case it's very clear, since the Founder wrote the stuff down himself. Even so, you'd have to work pretty hard to get expelled.

    Think of it this way -- suppose you are a Christian and you claim St. Peter was not really an Apostle, even though it's clear Christ gave him at least some sort of authoritative status. I mean, if you don't believe St. Peter is an Apostle, uh...why is it you're a Christian?
     
  12. Maxist

    Maxist Active Member

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    If the church does not want a... convict, say, then it should be able to choose. The Vatican cannot choose who is in the religion of Chatholicism, but a specific church has every right to bar some from their walls, however if there is no specific, real reason then no.
     
  13. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    I think I need to start a different thread because there seems to be differences on what a "member" is.

    Is it simply a person who attends a particular church or is it someone who has gone through an initiatory-like experience such as baptism?
     
  14. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    And many other possibilities too. In the case of Baha'is, you sign a declaration card. There are people who hang around Baha'i events for years, but don't sign the card. Officially, they aren't Baha'is. Some of refer to these people as "practicing without a license." :jiggy:
     
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