I don’t know that any society has had more options available to them over the course of human history than we do in the U.S. in 2017. As I scan my home office where I’m writing this, I see a door knob (attached to a door), a backpack, my phone, the computer I’m writing on and a chair I’m sitting in. Ever been to your local home improvement store and scanned the aisle of door knobs? Options, options, options! How about backpacks – or something to carry your books and computer in? How many of those are there to choose from? Phones? Computers? Chairs? Options, options, options. Just pick the one that pleases you most!
Now we come to choosing a church. How will you go about doing that? The same way you did in choosing the fixtures for your kitchen? And, of course, if your kitchen fixtures ever let you down, you just replace them with something you perceive to be better, right? Is that the approach we take with our churches? If yours ever lets you down, just replace it with something you perceive to be better.
May I say, I’m not down with this approach.
The church is called the ‘bride of Christ’ (Rev. 19; cf. Eph. 5) It’s not a kitchen fixture! My bride is not someone I replace when she lets me down (and vice versa!). A bride is someone worth committing to through good times and bad; through upheavals and disappointments. Whoever the bride is, possesses unique dignity that’s worth treating with sacredness. No fixture retains that kind of sanctity.
Here’s a quick thought-experiment: What if your gospel-preaching church was the only one around for four hundred miles? If your church did something you didn’t like (aside from abandoning the gospel altogether), what would you do? Quit going to church? Or commit to it and work it out?
I know readers of this blog attend various churches. Here’s my exhortation to you: don’t consume churches. Pick one and commit to it regardless of the discomfort you may experience there from time to time.