Dear Minister, would it be wrong not to be a member of a local church organization?
Absolutely not, however, allow me the space to explain why. In a previous article, I wrote about how some pastors seek government non-profit organizations (501 c 3) status in order to be recognized by the state as a religious body. Pastors often file for this status under the assumption it is mandated. In any case, those religious organizations under the rules of 501 c 3 willingly create an entirely different body separate from the biblical church of Jesus Christ. This is not always understood by those joining the organization as members. However, the 501 c 3 status creates an umbrella religious organization wherein the group of believers will operate under as a church. Thus, as stated, it is not necessary to join a government non-profit organization. It is, however, necessary to join the Body of Jesus Christ as stated in the Holy Scriptures. There’s a difference. The governmental organization places its founder as a man (mainly the Pastor) which is ruled by man-made regulations and unites members naturally to its codes of bylaws. The Body of Jesus Christ places God as the head and unites members spiritually through the blood of Jesus Christ by the authority of the scriptures. The problem however is the two bodies (one spiritual and the other natural) overlap in such a way it’s difficult for members to explain them apart.
Now, while the bible doesn’t require us to join a government non-profit organization to be saved; the gathering of the saints together is an important part of a believer’s spiritual life. As it is written; “We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming”. Therefore, while we’re not scripturally required to join a government non-profit organization, we are however, commanded by the body of Jesus Christ to partake in fellowships and church gatherings. This can be done without actually joining the government non-profit organization. Government non-profit organization membership is a choice, not a requisite to get to heaven. The bible teaches in order to see the real church one must be born again through faith in the operation of God. The church of God is spiritual, not a creation of man; the church is not mortgaged and it doesn’t answer to the government. If you choose to become a member of an organization, do so understanding that there’s two bodies in operation; one spiritual and the other natural, one from heaven and the other is earthly; one is essential and the other not; one is commanded and the other isn’t. On the other hand, if you choose not to become a member of the organization; you must still find fellowships and church gatherings a important part of your spiritual life. You “should not stop gathering together with other believers; instead, you must continue to encourage each other even more as you see the day of the Lord coming”.