From Elton Trueblood, in the Foreword to Call to Commitment by Elizabeth O’Connor, on the meaning of membership in the Church of the Saviour communities:
The very conception of making membership genuine rather than nominal, and therefore difficult, is bitterly resented by some, who rightly see this an implicit criticism of their own superficial standards of membership.
I’ve read a pastor of a large church saying that CHurch of the Saviour is really more of a “monastic community” than a church, and therefore, not really setting any kind of standard or expectation for “church”. But is the church not called to be just that; a “monastic community”. Are we not “called out” to be “separate” and “different”? Is this not also expressed in the manner of our life together? Is this life not to be different, and bring with it some demands in order to “fight off” the addictions of culture? Is the all-encompassing “Everybody can be a member” really what church membership is about? The acknowledgement that “all are welcome” is certainly not to be shunned; it’s just not related to membership in the church.