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Believer (ish?)

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  1. Praise the Lord for his patience with me and for providing a wise pastor. But back to the communion issue. I guess I still need to pray and read a lot more before God grants me enough wisdom that I can see any scripture requiring "membership". I cannot even find a passage that references ANY type of restriction to someone who believes and follows, to the best of their abilities, the teachings of Christ..----UNLESS, the church has a doctrine or following a tradition of exclusion. It seems that this is a perfect example of Matthew 1:1-10, where Jesus teaches about strictly following a rule that overlooks the purpose of the rule. In the cited Cor passages, nothing is said about a formal "litmus test" for any participant., nor any effects to the Church for a false Christian's participation in communion, Only the individual determines his worthiness and is punished if partaking unworthily. Does not a "vetted" membership requirement create a "litmus test" of determining worthiness? Does not having a guard, sometimes, even armed, at the door to prevent a non-vetted person's entry ,send the wrong message? If one is part of the "family" of the Church and allowed to participate in all other activities, hase not an unofficial vetting already occurred? Lots more prayer and bible is definitely needed!
  2. Thank you for your response. After two days of prayer, bible reading (KJV) and fasting, I came to the same conclusion. I have contacted the pastor, advised him that my sinful pride of being baptized where Jesus was baptized had been a sticking point which prevented me from asking to join the membership. I also asked to be baptized and offered to destroy the Jordan baptismal certificate, if he believed I should. He accepted me for local baptism and scheduled it for the 13th. He also advised me to keep the certificate and pride of that baptism, but to recognize that it's was meaningful to Christ, but lacked the scriptural requirements for a local church.
  3. I received Christ's salvation only a few months ago while traveling with my wife, a devout Christian, in a three-week Christian themed tour of the near East. Shortly after, I was baptized with full immersion in the Jordan River by a retired pastor who was also in the group. For the past four months, I have spent many hours, every day, studying the bible, attending every gathering of the Baptist church, where my wife is a member, praying often, paying tithes, and giving other offerings. I am even listed in the church directory as "family". The articles of the church that I attend require baptism by a "local church" for membership...and by extension, the Lord's Supper. Although, I do not feel ready to declare allegiance to every word in the KJV, nor allegiance to this or any particular local church, I do believe that I am a member of Christ's church and believe that His ordinance applies to me as well, as I am part of the congregation, even without the formal membership. How would you suggest that I obey my Lord and solemnly remember his sacrifice in a formal "call to assembly" for that purpose, if the "church" only allows its family to attend, if they have been "properly baptized" and vetted for inclusion in their formal membership? Is there not a conflict with encouraging someone to attend and participate in every other church activity, yet deny him the opportunity to participate in honoring our Lord in the most reverent of all assemblies? Formal membership for conducting the organizational activities, assigning leadership, and financial affairs is understandable as it only applies to the church; but, how does "do this in the remembrance of me" apply only to one particular church?
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