It seems hard to find an authentic church.
I don’t mean a church that believes it’s the best, or the most right or the most popular. I don’t mean the church that is the biggest and the best. No, the pastors and preachers should debate those determinations.
The Authentic Church
The church I’m seeking won’t be founded due to its sign, or its architecture, or by its fresh and contemporary curb appeal.
No, I’m looking for a Christ centered community of faith. With faith shaped not by dogma, nor by its denominational doctrines. A church unfettered by liturgies and sacraments and unleashed from the binding chains of near sacred, manmade tradition.
Is there a faith community existing by the DNA of the Holy Spirit? If so, such a fellowship seems elusive, hard to identify, and even harder to find.
- A church defined by its people and not by the building it meets in.
- Believers with whole hearted devotion to living in the Spirit.
- Christians embracing Jesus as Lord and the head of their church.
- An assembly devoted to caring for the least of his brothers.
- Less interested in bigger services and more interested in serving bigger.
- Decisions based on what’s true and best and not by who will get upset.
- Preaching scripture, the whole counsel of God, not just the favored nuggets.
We’re Only Human
That community of faith probably exists, but I haven’t found it. You see, the problem with churches is that they are filled with people. People are fallen, flawed and broken. They are given to selfishness and self-reliance. Sure, as believers, we love God; we believe in his word, and have some kind of relationship with some kind of church.But we are still sinners.
Someone Once Said This
“There is no such thing as a perfect church. But if you ever find one, do it a huge favor and don’t join. Because the minute you do so, it just lost its perfection.”
Yep, the problem is the people. If we could get rid of all the flawed, broken, sinful people, then wow, church would be great.
No perfect church and no perfect people; well, there was one. And he knew that imperfect people, perfected by righteousness, would fill his church. Some would be control freaks, others would dominate by personality, some would be lazy, and others would sit and refuse to lend a hand. Others would find fault, complain, and grumble. Many would be gone every other week, and still feel like they were the smartest people whose opinion and input should be sought and respected. And some would do everything asked of them and more, and do it humbly and graciously.
The urban church has become more of a community center than a shrine to orthodoxy. Today’s church seeks to assist however it can. And in this modern era, helping people to connect with each other is perhaps the most essential element of a faith community. We are a fragmented, isolated, drifting culture.
Its tough to sustain a faith community that meets down by a river.
I’m looking for the authentic church. Is it real? Perhaps a better pursuit would be for me to become an authentic believer.
And you? Just a thought.