In the post, Lionel recalls his last two years of looking for “the perfect church.” What is the perfect church? Well, that depends upon who’s defining and describing it. Lionel tells what he was looking for.
Then, Lionel adds these wonderful paragraphs:
So I have come to this one conclusion. The perfect church is not a group of people who do things the right way. The perfect church is not the church that says the right things. The perfect church isnâ€™t the church with the â€œbiblicalâ€ church polity. It isnâ€™t the church with best outreach program. It isnâ€™t the church that serves the best. It isnâ€™t the church that has strong biblical preaching, correct church discipline, a great worship band, not the â€œspirit-filledâ€ church (in the charismatic use of the word), not the church that grows the fastest.
The perfect church is the one that acknowledges they are imperfect, yet are at the mercy of a Perfect Savior and desires to see Him glorified throughout the entire world. A church which humbly calls upon the Lord for strength, direction, guidance and power is the perfect church. This may mean that some convictions or theological positions they have are different from other churches that are seeking the same thing. And what is important is that these separate fellowships (churches) should openly receive one another because both parties know that they are imperfect in and of themselves.
Like the title of this post states, we ain’t perfect. The brothers and sisters that I meet with and live with and love with and serve with are not perfect. We’re filled with bumps and bruises and warts and pimples and wrong ideas and bad theology and baggage and… the list could go on and on.
But, we do understand that we are God’s children and that together we are his church. We understand that when we work together as the body of Christ we grow together and glorify our Lord. We know that we all (individually and corporately) need to continue to grow and learn and change.
You see, there are many, many groups of believers with the same understanding. Unfortunately, I think some fall short when it comes to Lionel’s last phrase: “And what is important is that these separate fellowships (churches) should openly receive one another because both parties know that they are imperfect in and of themselves.”
Yes, Lionel, that is very important. And, I think this may be the biggest failure of modern Christianity and Evangelicalism in particular. No, we are not perfect, but most of us are not willing to accept other imperfect brothers and sisters as our own, because they are imperfect in different ways that us.