Congregational Loyalty

Each Christian has certain very definite responsibilities to his home congregation. The Christian is not a free lancer with liberty to drift from pillar to post without feeling any obligation to the local congregation.

Frequently, someone says, “I’m not a member of any particular congregation I belong to the universal church.” This attitude usually refllects a desire to evade work and duty, and more often than not, it shows an inability to get along with people. How often it is said, “I just don’t like the way they carry on over there.”

The church is injured by “church tramps” whose energies are expend and whose talents are wasted by their incessant drifting to and fro. These unsteadfast souls are always drifting and shifting to where attraction is greatest and responsibility is least. If one Christian has the right to drift from one church to another -- then all have that right, and if all used that right, then all would be “drifters” and none “workers.”

While it is true that all Christians are members of the universal body of Christ, it remains that the only way to build up the universal church is to build up the local church. The only place that I can really use my influence for good is in the local congregation. It is here that I can work with and under the oversight of the elders of the church. It is only in the local church that the elders can “watch in behalf of the souls” of the Christians (Heb. 13:17). if one Christian has the right to defy the oversight of elders, then all have that right; then their office is worthless and meaningless, and God’s purpose then is frustrated. Without loyalty to my home congregation, I deny the autonomy of the local church and upset God’s plan for any orderly conduct and discipline of affairs in the church.

Christians should have the privilege of visiting with some sister congregation occasionally, but not often enough to weaken the work at home. The Christian must forego the pleasure and personal satisfaction that might be derived therefrom and base every choice upon what is best for the cause we love.

Every Christian owes his financial support to his “home church.” If the local church is to plan and maintain a budget, then its leaders have every right to expect its members to be loyal, regular and unstinting in their support of its work. If one Christian can go elsewhere and give his money, then all have the right, and if all used the right then the work at home would fold. It is the “home church” that we can best serve our Lord. our talents are known and used, our influence can be felt. -via, The Visitor

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