On the heels of the convention consensus regarding the necessity of a regenerate church membership and our corporate repentance thereof, I thought it would be pertinent to provide this quote by John L. Dagg, who has arguably written the best book on Baptist polity among Southern Baptists.
Exactly 150 years ago, Dagg wrote the following,
“Some have thought that because no church on earth is perfectly free from false professors, it is folly to aim at a perfect church. But we may, with equal propriety, charge any individual man with folly who is striving after personal perfection. The duty of every individual church is, to press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus; and the duty of every church, and of every church member, is, to strive in every lawful way for church perfection. Though full perfection may not be attained, yet approach to it sufficiently rewards our continual effort; and, apart from all respect to reward, we are obliged to this course, by the command of Christ.”
– John L. Dagg, Manual of Church Order (Harrisonburg, VA: Gano Books, 1990), 98.
Considering Dagg’s biblical logic, to say that we should not strive for pure churches is tantamount to saying that Christians should not strive for holiness. No one would endorse the latter, but we have heard the former ringing in our ears.
May there be a new song sung from the bride of Christ, adorning herself in holiness and faithfulness to her Husband.
For more articles on church membership, go here.