“SBC does not accept membership registration of believers.” This statement expresses the key spirit and policy of SBC which is to concentrate on evangelism and discipleship. In the present age when churches do not get much respect, the spirit to return to the church’s original mission is very crucial. Many SBC members say these words often, and inadvertently, because of our lack of care, this seems to cause many misunderstandings and undesirable side effects.
In many cases, this statement can be offensive to others when it is used without a sufficient and convincing explanation. The reason that we insist on this policy is as follows. First, we want to reserve our energy for evangelism. If we accept the registration of believers, all of our energy is spent to administer to them and not much is left to do other things. However, the desire of God is to save lost souls and that is what we want to concentrate on.
Another reason is to disperse workers to other churches. SBC has relatively favorable conditions which tend to draw people. If we believe that as a revival and take them in, it can causes disservice to other churches around us and we want to avoid that. When others hear that we do not “accept believers” without this explanation, it can be offensive to them. Therefore, from now on, please never say those words without proper explanation.
The words “accept” or “not accept” itself could give a wrong impression or cause misunderstanding. Such words gives the idea to a listener that we are in control as if we are a privileged group and they are not. Therefore, from now on, we will not use the expression “We do not accept believers.” Instead, please say, “If you are already saved, we recommend you to serve in other church.” It is understandably difficult to make this change since we are so accustomed to the previous expression. Nevertheless, please help each other to make this change so that this phrase of “We do not accept.” will not be in our vocabulary any more.
Another cause for misunderstanding comes when we say this with pride. When SBC members say “We do not accept believers.” to other church members, it makes us to look arrogant. I understand that actually there is a hint of arrogance. Please remember that regardless how right it is, if it becomes prideful, it is not pleasing to God. Also, the right thing we insist on has a pitfall that it can easily be a trap to judge others.
Therefore, please never use these words with pride. Likewise, please do not use them to judge other churches or church members. Just remember that its spirit has a great value according to God’s desire and cherish them in your heart. Strive to act on it and never utter these words casually or with pride.
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