Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
I was reading today about a Presbyterian church in America where about 10% of those who attend may be Jewish, atheists or agnostics. They are admitted into membership as "Associate Members of the Church" and even those who are full members don't need to believe the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
While we must, and do, always welcome all who come to church, it is quite another thing to admit people to membership in the church if they do not believe in the authority of the Bible and the whole teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. It does matter what you believe and the church would be doing a bad thing if it said to anybody that you can believe what you like and still be considered a member of the church.
You see, Jesus makes very serious claims in the Gospels such as the verse at the top of the page. There Jesus says he, and only he, is the way by which we can come to God and find the truth and the life that is acceptable to God. No doubt there are many people who enjoy the warmth and companionship that they can find in church, but church is more than a social club — it is a gathering of people to worship God; and to worship him acceptably, we need to believe and follow the teaching of Jesus.
O Lord, it is vital that I believe your word — help me to put it into practice too. Amen