Reminders: There is No Perfect Church on Earth
by Ardith Hoff
A farmer went to a big city to visit his sister for the weekend. He attended church with her. When he got home his wife asked how it was. He said it was okay, but all they sang were those praise songs. He said it would be like if I talked to you saying, ‘The cows are in the corn, the corn, corn, corn. The cows, the cows are in the corn, corn, corn’, and then repeated it several times while clapping to the beat. I’m never going back to that church!”
Weeks later, the farmer’s nephew came out to the farm. He went to church with the farmer and his wife. When he got home his mother asked how it was. He said it was okay, but all they sang were old-fashioned hymns. They went something like, ‘Come thou majestic exalted one. Harken unto Juda during this time of tribulations, and incline thine ear to thy ransomed, captive souls.’ That dragged on for six long verses, but they only sang verses 1,3 and 6.”
The truth is that there is no such thing as a perfect church on earth. If it’s not the music, as in the story above, it might be the preacher whose sermons are too long. The worship services are either too early or too late. They are too formal of too casual.
The concept of church initially simply meant, “an assembly of God’s people”. Early Christians often met in secret to escape persecution, but the institution of “church” as we know it, has changed. It has divided into denominations, and evolved over time into an almost infinite variety of belief systems and styles of worship. The key here is to find a church that best suits your needs for spiritual growth, and as the author Richard Carlson put it, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.”
There are good reasons to find a church that comes closest to feeling right to you, and worshiping among people who care about each other, and believe in a God who cares about them. There are good reasons to find a church where the word of God is used as a guide for living the best life one possibly can, even if it isn’t perfect.