Thom Ranier, president of Lifeway, posted this blog on the importance of regenerate church membership. He calls it, "Responding to the great distraction."
This is a great article. I wish more churches would agree with this view of church membership. Ranier says, "First, the standards of church membership have been low in many churches for many years. As a consequence our churches have more and more unregenerate members. Frankly, I would be not be surprised if some of the most vitriolic criticisms come from those who are not Christians." I agree. While we can't see regeneration directly, we can see fruit. Some of the fruit I've seen has been pretty rotten at times, and it is all the more visible because of the contrast with some of the good stuff that is also very much apparent in others. As a member of a church where grumbling and nasty folks have been making the lives of some of the staff miserable, I think Thom has hit the nail on the head.
By the way, just out of curiosity, does anyone who reads this blog know of any scriptural reason why the church should be though of as a democracy? I've heard arguments both ways, neither being well-supported by scripture; mostly the pro-democracy argument was an Americo-cultural view of what the church should be.