“I would go to church if it weren’t full of a bunch of hypocrites.” How many of you have heard that excuse before? I know there are many people who don’t go to church anymore because they have been legitimately hurt by the church. But consider the alternative, a life completely devoid of community. I’m not saying there are perfect churches out there. There aren’t. I am saying that Christ came to establish his church and that he expects all of his brothers and sisters to work and live together for his kingdom, and to do it in the context of a broken and messed up community known as church.
I know hypocrisy is a major turn off to people when it comes to church. But I say praise God that hypocrites have a place where they can fellowship and see and hear the changing power of the gospel so that they might grow into authentic Christians (instead of keep living as hypocrites). Church is not the best context for growth because some greedy pastors said it is, it the best context for growth because Christ established to be.
Christ established the church to be not a perfect context, but an ideal context for growth. In community, Christians can see and experience Christ’s love and grace for his people. And most importantly, they can experience God’s grace and love through the proclamation and practical demonstration of the gospel. There is no such thing as a perfect church, but there is such a thing as a growing church. Find one, commit to it, and grow and change together with them as one community. It may just be the closest thing to heaven you will ever experience.