Friday, October 17
Wheat/Tares and Church Membership!
It will soon be a year since I came out of a membership in the institutional church. It has been a year of growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, rejoicing in His truth, a year of fellowship in the Gospel with the saints in my life and a year of grief without regret. I have great peace about my decision but the grief has been real. When someone dies you know they say it takes a year for you to go through a process of grieving and so it may be with the church as well.
Why then a piece on wheat & tares you might ask? Well, I’m to be considered a tare according to one woman in the church because of my actions. She planted that consideration into the minds of some right after I left, although I just have found that out. My action that precipitated the consideration was my withdrawing my membership from the institutional church. To say that I am appalled is putting it mildly but I’m also thankful that the mindset of some in that assembly has come to the surface, it adds to my peace.
I did write a letter to her for several reasons. I didn’t want the sun to go down on my anger and so I needed to confront her with my own thoughts about her statement. I also think she is very, very misled and I wanted her to think about what she said and to question if her belief lines up with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course I don't believe that it does, it lends itself more to the Roman Catholic position. These are some of the points I tried to make in my letter to her:
A tare is always a tare never to be wheat just as a goat is always a goat never to be a sheep. By considering me a tare she actually consigned me to hell as a reprobate. God, in His Sovereignty, has decreed from all eternity vessels of mercy and vessels of wrath, wheat/tare-sheep/goats-elect/non-elect. That judgment is His alone. Certainly we know people who don’t confess Christ in true faith and seemingly are unregenerate at a given specific time in their life but we can never make the judgment here that someone is a reprobate.
By her suggestion that I be considered a tare she trampled underfoot the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for me. She has counted His atonement for the sin of His people as insufficient to accomplish what He came to do. I have most assuredly, by Grace, been given the gift of faith to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and by her statement that precious gift of faith was made meaningless. She literally reduced union with Christ to institutional church membership.
1 Corinthians 12 says to us in verse 27 “Now you ARE the body of Christ and members individually”. Jesus Christ came to establish His body, His bride, His Church, which is always and only the people of God. Although this body may assemble together in various ways and places we are ALREADY members of it for WE are the Church. His life, His bloody death and His resurrection accomplished that and the Holy Spirit has placed us in the body of Christ upon regeneration and the new birth. That is true membership in the Church, true union with Christ.
To be continued…