the weblog of Alan Knox

We Ain’t Perfect

Posted by on Jan 4, 2011 in blog links | 3 comments

We Ain’t Perfect

So, are you following Lionel (at “A View of the Woods“) latest posts? If not, you should. For example, consider his post “Quest for the Perfect Church.”

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 isn’t the church with the “biblical” church polity. It isn’t the church with best outreach program. It isn’t the church that serves the best. It isn’t the church that has strong biblical preaching, correct church discipline, a great worship band, not the “spirit-filled” 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.


3 Comments

  1. 1-4-2011

    Alan, thanks for posting this. The Lord has been dealing with me about the misguided pursuit of fellowship with only “like-minded” believers, who for me would signify the “perfect” church (that doesn’t really exist). I’m learning that no one is FULLY like-minded with one another… even Sean and I have our differences.:-) Yes, there is comfort in the bond we may feel with those who seem to think as we do, but we cannot limit our circle to only those people. I’m learning that it’s through the lumps and bumps of relationships, dealing with my own imperfections really… that we find the greatest growth. Your comments and Lionel’s post have served as confirmation for some things. In Christ, Talya

  2. 1-5-2011

    Talya,

    When are you and Sean and the family headed back up this way? I hope that we can make it to Savannah soon.

    You said, “I’m learning that it’s through the lumps and bumps of relationships, dealing with my own imperfections really… that we find the greatest growth.” Absolutely!

    -Alan

  3. 1-6-2011

    Unfortunately, we don’t have any plans to head up your way in the near future, but when we do, I’ll let you know! If you do head in this direction, we would love to spend time with your family. In Christ, Talya

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  1. What Am I Looking For? | Looking For Church - [...] I don’t really think so… but, I think it has slowly turned into trying to design the perfect church, …
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