I had a recent occasion to pray with a woman after church who was brought along as a guest of someone else. “How can we pray for you?” I asked. She said she needed to find a church home but then proceeded to explain why she didn’t currently go to any church. “Too much ‘religion'” she said.
“Hmmm” I said. “Why not consider that since you see the problem; you join up with a church body to become part of the solution?” I could tell that didn’t set too well with her. I went ahead and prayed for her but doubt she is going to find a new church home any time soon.
I’ve never yet been in a church that ended up being perfect, have you? Some of them have seemed that way in the beginning but eventually you start to see all sorts of things short of “perfect”. We might as well be realistic up front rather than disappointed later. The people that make up the church are imperfect so what do we expect?
Plus, every time I start to think about everything that is wrong with my church, I have to eventually look in the mirror. Though I dread admitting it, I’m not perfect either. Others may be glancing my way when they start counting all the warts in my church. Maybe in their eyes I’m one of the bigger warts!
I think we should stick with church and give grace to our brothers and sisters. “For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke6:38) After all, don’t we each want to be accepted, warts and all?