Mark Dever has questions–good questions–that I believe warrant our consideration and merit an honest, biblical response. Regarding the unregenerate state of church membership today, he writes:
A member’s regular, tolerated nonattendance begins to raise further questions. What kind of leadership must a church have to allow such a misrepresentation to arise and flourish? What expectations are being communicated to those who are joining? What discipline is practiced, if any? In fact, tolerated noninvolvement among members may even call into question the kind of evangelism being done and the church’s understanding of conversion, even of the gospel itself. Allowing such nonattending members to retain their membership would seem to be such blatant disobedience to Scripture, and such a brazen disregard of the scriptural health of those concerned, that it would even call into question the teaching that brought about such an unhealthy tolerance in the body.
– Mark Dever, “Regaining Meaningful Church Membership” in Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches, edited by Thomas White, Jason G. Duesing, and Malcolm B. Yarnell III (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2008), 46.