Today we attended a church membership class at a Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) church which we have been attending for a few months since we moved back from Philadelphia. It was a 6 hour long ordeal where the associate pastor went through five questions from the Westminster Confession of Faith, and what smaller questions were entailed in them.
Honestly, it was like a six hour sermon to me. He said a lot of things I’ve never heard before, and he also thoroughly explained why we become a member of the church, which I had been confused about. He referenced a verse in the Bible that said to cast sinners out of the church. He went further to say that this would mean today that the person who was cast out would still be allowed in church, but would not be able to take communion, until they repented their sins.
Earlier, we didn’t partake of the Lord’s Supper at this church because they require you to be a member of a church. That is so that you can be accountable to someone, but today he said that they want to be able to discipline you if you go astray. They want to be able to not allow you to take communion when you don’t repent from a sin; they want to be able to cast you out so that you can repent of your sin that you previously refused to, and they can accept you back after that.
That clarified a lot for me.
One thing the pastor mentioned was the golden calf Aaron and the Israelites built. I’d always thought that the Israelites turned to idols when Aaron made the calf for them, but he said they just wanted to see their God. They were worshiping the right God in the wrong way, which I had never heard before.
I had expected this class to be rather dull, but it was actually quite enjoyable. To become a member now, I have to be interviewed by two elders, and if I pass their test, I can become a member. It’s actually not a test; they just need to make sure I have a credible profession of faith.
None of us have ever been an authentic member of a church, and this is pretty exciting! I will also get baptized!