I am one of those who believes “membership” is not biblical. We don’t see evidence of it anywhere in scripture. Instead, I think it has a lot to do with the man-made business model infiltrating the Body of Christ. We trust our own devices, rather than the One who created the Church in the first place.
None of his examples are really all that solid. For instance, I can belong and be accountable just like any viable “member” can; and a viable “members” can be just as unaccountable as the proponents of membership presume all non-members are.
Also, how does membership “protect the flock” any more than a piece of paper called a “personal protection order” protect a woman from getting punched by her violent husband? To sign on a dotted line of membership only says, “I will SAY I believe that particular view about that thing, even if I don’t know anything about it, or don’t really believe it. After all, I want to belong.”.
I know plenty of “members” in churches who are precisely this way. A true member is one who is in union with our Savior through the Holy Spirit. And the best way to ascertain whether or not one is “in the fold” is to get to KNOW him/her, not simply host a membership class and offer a pen and a dotted line.
The author writes, “That is to say, there must be a formal, conscious connection between believers in order for a church to truly exist. Otherwise, all you have is a group of disassociated people.”
That’s interesting, because I thought that’s what the Holy Spirit did when HE united us, he made US the church. It was never a “political union” that made the Church.