Letters of Commendation

We have been asked to publish the following letter received from a fairly large assembly In a popular seaside resort. Is their experience common? If so, what Is the best line of action to take? We shall be glad to have the views of other assemblies similarly placed.

We, as an assembly at a Holiday Resort, are rather concerned regarding the increasing disregard of the injunction given by the Apostle Paul as to the commendation of believers from one assembly to another.

So many saints nowadays come on holiday, and when attending the meeting on Lord’s-day morning seem content to say they have come from a certain assembly, and even have to be asked their names.

We are not amongst those who deliberately refuse access to the Lord’s Table by any true believers who desire to remember our Lord’s death in His own appointed way, and will always receive in the Lord’s Name any true believer who so desires on his or her own responsibility as in 1 Cor. 11. 27-29, or on the commendation of any believers connected with the local assembly on their responsibility; but for persons to come in to the meeting and say “I am so and so, from----, and was here with you last year (or some other time),” places us in a considerable difficulty, as so much may have happened to or with the person so concerned since they were last here.

It has always been our practice to gladly give letters of commendation to any of our assembly who desire to gather with other like believers in another district if they will only ask for it, and we wonder why if such is the case with other assemblies, there are so many believers who go about on holidays without this commendation, which to us means so much.

Is it because of the individual’s own laxity in not troubling to ask for the coveted commendation which should mean so much to them, or is it that the necessity for such a letter is not brought home to them in our ordinary doctrinal ministry?

What is the thought of our other elder brethren, and what is the general opinion of other assemblies?