Perfect Church

"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2:42)." How many times have you heard it said that, "we want to be an Acts 2 church." This church described in Acts 2 is held up as the pinnacle of being a church. There is no disagreement that this fellowship of believers was indeed admirable but we need to be realistic about what the rest of the New Testament tells us about the church.

New testament churches were not perfect. If they were the New Testament would never have had to be written. In fact, some new testament churches seemed so dysfunctional that most of us would probably not go there on the grounds that they were worldly or too legalistic. Would you go to a church where there are incestuous relationships and yet the church is still arrogant about their spirituality (1 Cor. 5:1-2)?

Here is a list of some of the issues that were occurring in a selection of churches in the New Testament:
  1. Division (1 Cor. 1:10)
  2. Incest (1 Cor. 5:1-2)
  3. Using prostitutes (1 Cor. 6:15)
  4. Worship of demons (1 Cor. 10:21)
  5. Denial that Christ has not been raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15:12)
  6. Sexual immorality and sensuality (2 Cor.12:21)
  7. Adding to the Gospel (Gal. 5:3, Phil 3:2)
The whole book of 1 Corinthians  is directed at a church that is in serious error. If you read carefully through the New Testament you will see many corrective statements being made to behaviors that may or may not have been occurring in a particular church. Even if it was not meant for that particular church it is obvious that the Holy Spirit knew it would be a problem in the churches to come.

Churches are not perfect and they are probably not supposed to be. If people would stop thinking they are the perfect church or stop trying to find it we just may be able to reconcile for the glory of God. After all there is only one church perfect, imperfect, or otherwise.


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