Jim Berkley made a comment, which I posted below on the "Dilemma" entry. I quote it again here: "We would all like ease and peace. But this is a fallen world, and we have another task: withstanding evil. We ignore and neglect that responsibility to our own peril, and especially to the peril of the most vulnerable." (Jim Berkley) You may not have gotten the full meaning of that quote if you didn’t click and follow the links to where it was discussed. But, here is my understanding: For those who are mature in the faith...,at least relatively so, if you up and jump ship...what about those as depicted in the cartoon below...."the most vulnerable". Who will be left to warn..that the "steamroller cometh", that is, when the "steamroller cometh"? When the laws and rules of the larger body..effect the smaller body..that is, the local congregation...,who would be left to point out to the less mature brothers and sisters the folly of bad decisions? Can a throne of destruction be allied with You, One which devises mischief by decree? Ps 94:20 NASB If this were to happen...who would sound the alarm?
"Do you, the members of this congregation, as those who are already under the obligation of this covenant, welcome into your fellowship these who have now professed their faith in Christ and their purpose as His disciples, and do you promise to encourage and help them in the Christian life?" As members of our local congregation we make this vow (or something similar) upon reception of new members and those baptized.
These are the ones Jim Berkley, I believe, see as the most vulnerable and if we abandon...would be neglecting our responsibility. Just thinking out loud......!
(click to enlarge)