Applying the Golden Rule in the Branch Church

The application of the Golden Rule enters into every aspect of branch church activity. It is especially called for in dealing with members who have become inactive for one reason or another. Branch churches rightly desire that all members actively participate in church activities and business meetings. Some churches have a bylaw requiring attendance at a certain number of business meetings each year. But great injustice may be done the inactive member unless the efforts to reach him and reactivate him are carried on with brotherly love, mercy, and justice.

If a member is no longer active on committees, does not attend business meetings, and perhaps misses many of the church services, this should not be ignored. It may well be that such a member needs the loving interest and understanding of his fellow members. Many churches have a committee whose duty it is to contact such members in the endeavor to bring healing to the situation.

The sixth tenet of The Mother Church to which all members of branch churches subscribe reads (Manual of The Mother Church by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 16): "And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.'" In obedience to this tenet the motive and desire of church members obviously should be to help the inactive member, and his case should be carefully investigated. It may be that he is doing the best he can under the circumstances and perhaps is in need of the loving interest and support of the church. Even in cases where the member has become deeply apathetic and indifferent, every right effort should be made to heal the situation before any steps are taken to remove him from membership. Putting the Golden Rule into action in this way will bless the church as well as the individual.

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Superimposed Pictures
April 11, 1964

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