To Join or Not to Join?: The Calling of Church Membership

Monday, 16 Jul 2007

Influenced by the modern notion of individualism, a person's faith as nurtured from childhood in a Christian home in cooperation with the faithful ministry of a local church is considered inauthentic.
In 1568, a prominent Heidelberg physician named Erastus wrote on the subject of the church, setting off a controversy that rages even to this day. The dispute centered on the various responsibilities of the church and the state, especially regarding the decision of who could and could not partake of the Lord's Supper. Simply put, Erastian theory denied the authority of Christ's office-bearers in the visible church. He advocated taking the power of the keys (Matt. 16:19) from these ecclesiastical officers and giving it to the civil magistrates. The two most famous documents refuting the Erastian position were the 1578 ...

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