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(6,099 posts)
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 01:28 PM Feb 2024

Am I still listed as a member of the Southern Baptist church I joined at age 13?

I was "born again" around my 13th birthday. Pretended to be, actually. I'd already stopped believing (if I ever did) and nodded and smiled at the minister just to get those people off my back. I was a kid. What else could I do?

Decades later, I have no regrets. I sometimes get annoyed when I see a news article saying, "There are umpty-ump bazillion evangelicals in America" and wonder if I'm by inaction contributing one...errrr.....soul, to that count. In the Age of Trump, I don't want to be giving those people one subatomic particle of support.

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Ocelot II

(116,155 posts)
2. I have to think there are an awful lot of people who are listed as members
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 01:36 PM
Feb 2024

or who claim to belong to a church (or other organization, for that matter) but who really don't believe in its purpose or care about it at all, who just joined and/or maintain a nominal membership as a result of family or social pressures. You go to church as a kid to keep from being pestered about it; when you're older you might keep going because the rest of your family does, or your neighbors and friends do and you don't want to be the odd person out. And I assume all these lukewarm or nominal members are counted.

Dale in Laurel MD

(698 posts)
3. I don't know about Southern Baptists, but...
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 01:38 PM
Feb 2024

A friend of mine was baptized Roman Catholic as an infant, later left, and has since become a member of clergy in a different religion. The Catholic Church still counts her as Catholic on the basis of her baptism (albeit non-practicing Catholic), and she's been unsuccessful in getting any acknowledgement from them that she is not Catholic. In short, membership numbers may be padded like that.


(23,096 posts)
8. Yes, the Catholic church holds that if you were baptized a Catholic you will be a Catholic for all eternity no matter
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 02:07 PM
Feb 2024

what you do or say. However, they do accept people who have been baptized by other denominations with open arms.

radical noodle

(8,031 posts)
4. Some churches remove non-attending members
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 01:40 PM
Feb 2024

periodically. Others do not. You could write the church and ask if you're still on the list of members.

Major Nikon

(36,831 posts)
5. I suspect whatever if any membership records were kept at the national level have been purged
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 01:46 PM
Feb 2024

If there are any that remain, it's a safe bet they are kept under very tight wraps to protect the convention from the abundance of sexual abuse cases within the denomination.


(5,908 posts)
6. My "wears it on his sleeve" Baptist neighbor
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 01:58 PM
Feb 2024

attends sun and wed. That is 2 opportunities to collect $$$. Even the Catholics limit the grift to once a week. Bah


(2,393 posts)
7. My Methodist church had to boot me in the 90s
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 02:02 PM
Feb 2024

They were doing some kind of centrally mandated census for support of the dwindling congregation, and sent me a letter saying I was out, since i didn’t live in that city anymore. Fair enough, but i was oddly pained by it. The beautiful church was given to a strange local sect when the Methodists gave up on it.

Mind you, I haven’t called myself Christian since, well, ever.


(1,408 posts)
9. Probably.
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 02:11 PM
Feb 2024

Many religious organizations continue to claim everyone who was a member, no matter how long they've been inactive. Some people have gone to court to get un-enrolled. Your instinct is correct. They keep names on the books to reinforce the idea that we are a religious nation, that their particular denomination is big and getting bigger, etc.


(1,920 posts)
10. I was born and baptized Catholic
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 02:14 PM
Feb 2024

but no longer go to church. I was only attending because my Mom didn't want to go alone prior. I, however, could no longer take it, when in a sermon the priest started going on and on how about this woman who was told by her doctor that any male child she conceived would likely be born with the same horribly disabling and painful disease her father had suffered, and he recommended she have a hysterectomy, and adopt or have a surrogate.

She ignored him because she said she was 100 percent certain God wanted her to have her own baby. She got pregnant, and just as the doctor predicted she had a male baby who was born with the genetically inherited disease. He only lived until he was 10, and the asshole priest had the freaking nerve to call her unselfish for devoting herself to caring for the child. That was it for me. I turned to my Mom, and said I can't do this anymore. How many more children are they going to condemn to a life of torment? Is beating, humiliating, and molesting them not enough for them?

I stood up and stormed out. Have not been back since except for family funerals. I no longer receive mailings from them since my Mom died, so I don't think they still count me as a member.

I still believe in God, just not organized religion.

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