Thinking About Leaving Your Church? Don’t Be So Hasty . . .
From Derek Brown:
Here is a good word from Wayne Grudem that confronts our desire for the “perfect church:”
“Of course, if we are to work for the purity of the church, especially in the local church of which we are a part, we must recognize that this is a process, and that any church of which we are a part will be somewhat impure in various areas. There were no perfect churches at the time of the New Testament and there will be no perfect churches until Christ returns. This means that Christians have no obligation to seek the purest church they can find and stay there, and then leave it if an even purer church comes to their attention. Rather, they should find a true church in which they can have effective ministry and in which they will experience Christian growth as well, and then should stay there and minister, continually working for the purity of that church. God will often bless their prayers and faithful witness and the church will gradually grow in many areas of purity.” (Systematic Theology, 875)
Notice that Grudem suggests, after finding a true church in which we can minister effectively and grow spiritually, we should stay and work for the purity of our church. He also observes that working for the purity of a church is a process, not a one-time or immediate event. This calls for patience, love and prayerful labor. I fear far too many of us are looking for perfect or close-to-perfect churches and are, as a result, wallowing in discontent and neglecting opportunities for fruitful work in the church in which we are already members. Perhaps Grudem’s counsel will begin to reverse this unfortunate trend. [emphasis mine]
HT: Zach Nielsen