WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR ACCEPTING A PERSON AS A CHURCH MEMBER BY PROFESSION OF FAITH?
According to the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, Individuals who have accepted the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and who desire membership in the Church on profession of faith may be accepted under any of the following four circumstances:
1. A committed Christian coming from another Christian communion who has already been baptized by immersion as practiced by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (See p. 45.)
2. A member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who, because of world conditions, is unable to secure a letter of transfer from his/her home church. (See p. 53.)
3. A member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church whose request for membership transfer has received no response from the church where he/she is a member. In such a case the church shall seek assistance of the conference or conferences involved.
4. An individual who has been a member, but whose membership has been misplaced or has been withdrawn because he/she was a missing member, yet who has remained faithful to his/her Christian commitment.
Great care should be exercised in receiving members if they have formerly been members of another congregation. When a person applies for membership on profession of faith, inquiries should be made concerning the applicant’s former experience. Church officers should seek the advice and help of the conference president. Sufficient time should be taken to investigate the facts.
When a person applies for membership on profession of faith and it is found that he/she still is a member of another congregation, no steps should be taken to receive that person into membership until the church holding the membership grants a letter of transfer. If, after the process of transfer is followed (see p. 52), a church refuses to grant a letter of transfer and the member feels the letter has been unjustly denied, the member may appeal to the conference committee. Following this procedure will result in a higher appreciation of the sacredness of Church membership and in wrongs being made right. No church has the right to withhold transfer unless the person is under discipline.
When an individual whose membership has been removed seeks readmission to church membership, readmission is normally preceded by rebaptism. (See pp. 66, 67.)