There are some Christian churches that advertise themselves as a “place for sinners,” or who say that “no perfect people are allowed.” The idea is that we’ve all strayed from the path God wants for us — no exceptions — so let’s work to better ourselves together. I don’t agree with the premise, but I can see why that’s appealing.
Cave City Baptist Church in Kentucky, however, has a very different rule: Anyone who’s sinned (or not come to church every week or not paid the expected amount of tithe money) can’t attend. Only perfect people are welcome, I guess.
Now-former church member Jason Pedigo posted the letter on Facebook:
… Some circumstance has kept you from performing your duties as defined in the by-laws of Cave City Baptist Church. “Members are expected, first of all, to be faithful in all the duties essential to Christian life; and also, to attend habitually the services of His church, to give regularly to its support and its causes, and to share in its organized work.”
This letter is to inform you that your name has been removed from the membership roll of Cave City Baptist Church.
Let’s get this out of the way: Everyone who received that letter should celebrate it. (Do you know how many hoops Mormons and Catholics have to jump through to get their names off the membership rolls?)
But Broers also doesn’t seem to take into account the reasons people may not be attending church or giving money. Maybe they have a sickness or a sick relative. Maybe they lost their job. Maybe he’s just a really crappy pastor.
He also doesn’t send a warning. It’s just, “Surprise! We kicked you out.”
Broers offered a different excuse to a reporter:
About 100 people attend the church on a regular basis, Broers said. Having several hundred people on the church membership roll not attending sometimes prevented the congregation from meeting a quorum during business meetings, according to Broers.
The solution, then, is to change the by-laws, not kick out people who haven’t attended for reasons unknown.
Beth Gentry Carder stopped attending the church around a year ago due to work reasons. She said she wasn’t mad about the letter, but was mad at the way it was handled. She doesn’t want to return.
“Kind of made you feel like you wasn’t welcome back to the church,” she said in an interview. “Made it kind of seem like they only wanted your money. Kind of makes you feel sad. No church should make you feel this way.”
It’s not the first time something like this has happened. In 2016, a Lutheran church told an 84-year-old lapsed member that she couldn’t be buried next to her late husband. In 2015, a Baptist church in Georgia kicked out a 92-year-old member for not tithing… even though she was very sick.
It just goes to show: this is a business for some people, first and foremost. You might see compassion and basic human decency… but only after the checks clear.