If you want the short version, here it is: He thinks this would be a bad thing. But he asks an interesting question:
How could such an answer have been given? I'm sure in well meaning sincerity. But how could it have been soberly accepted by thousands of messengers? I can only conclude that it must have been due in part to our cheapened understanding of conversion, debased practices of evangelism, worldly attitudes about being "judgmental" and an addiction--a drunkeness, if you will--to numbers.Perhaps even more significant is the point Dever makes about pastors' responsibility to their flocks:
All of them will die, many of them without returning to church. Some of those will be our brothers and sisters in Christ who were in sin. I fear that many of them will not have been our brothers and sisters in Christ, and so they will slip into a Christ-less eternity, face a good and just God while they are still pleading their own merits for salvation, and fall under God's deserved penalty forever. We could have helped them, like the man in I Cor. 5 who was caught in sin (and may have repented II Cor. 2?), or like the man in Gal. 6:1. But we didn't.For background info and links, see my previous post.
Instead, we met their actions of disobedience with continued formal approval. They remained members. We continued to teach them that church membership was their own private business, not the business of the congregation. We continued to meet their absence with our silence.
This is one of those matters that is easy to view as "someone else's problem." After all, we would never have said something so blatantly contradictory to historic Baptist distinctives. But here's a question: How many non-attending members does your church have?