One Church Is As Good As Another

Posted on September 30, 2010
Filed Under Evangelism, For Further Thought... | 1 Comment

A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to visit a gospel meeting and hear Paul Casebolt present a lesson on the church.  He made a point in the sermon in a way I had never really thought of before.  It made me think about how many people approach the task of “picking a church.”

We often hear people in the religious world tell us that “one church is as good as another.”  The point they are trying to make is that you can pick any church you want, and God is happy with any decision you make.  However, this is one of those instances where actions speak louder than words!  Once a person makes a choice, they have determined that one church is indeed better than another!  They have implemented some kind of criteria to determine which church they want to attend, whether they realize it or not.  The bottom line is that they have determined that the church of their choice is better than all other churches, for one reason or another.

Far too often, a church is determined to be superior to others based upon personal preference, programs, and extra-curricular activities offered to kids.  We hear people say they like the children’s church, the sports teams, the trips, or the entertainment (all things that are absent from the New Testament).  This reflects the true selfishness of most “religious” people, and the complete lack of respect for New Testament authority in work and worship of the church.

If we are going to use a set of criteria to ultimately choose a church, shouldn’t we use God’s criteria?  Rather than looking for what makes us “feel good” and fulfills our own fleshly desires, we should be focused on what God wants.  The church is supposed to belong to Christ (Matthew 16:18) and yet most of the churches in the world today hold no resemblance to the church established by Christ, and instructed by His apostles in the first century.  Too many people have determined that division and denominationalism is acceptable, despite the fact that the apostles of Christ condemned such practice (1 Corinthians 1:9-13).  The only way to avoid such division is to return to the practices of the first century church.

Instead of having a mentality that says, “Attend the church of your choice,” we should say, “Attend the church of God’s choice.”  There is a reason that God has revealed His mind to us concerning His church.  He expects for us to conform ourselves to His revelation.  If we are a part of any church that is practicing things that the first century church did not practice, then we are not a part of the Lord’s church!  It is our responsibility to search out the actions of the church of the first century, and then find the church that is doing the same things today.

So, if you are going to have to find some criteria for choosing a church, why not use the criteria laid out in the New Testament?  Read the book of Acts and you will have a good picture of the work and worship of that church.  Read the epistles and you will find the inspired answers to questions, and problems faced by those churches of the first century.  We don’t need the modern innovations that attract so many people today.  Those innovations make most churches free social clubs, rather than the Lord’s true church!