Charles Spurgeon Addresses Church Shoppers

Charles Spurgeon

I once read that if you really love books, you don’t just love the best sellers. Anyone can find something to love in a best seller. If you really love books, you can find something to love within a book you snagged at the dollar store. You love watching narratives unfold, characters develop, and ideas take shape so much that you can appreciate those things even within the most convoluted, clumsily articulated books.

What if we loved Jesus so much that we could recognize and appreciate his qualities in even the worst of his followers?

It doesn’t mean you should cringe your way through sermons or clench your teeth through worship or prayer to prove your love for Jesus.

It means you can find something to appreciate among the flaws: that’s what Jesus does every time he looks at us. Seek the pieces of truth and glimpses of glory, wherever you find yourself in the global body of Christ.

Seeing the cup as half full instead of half empty doesn’t make you delusional. You know the cup isn’t full. But you appreciate what’s there more than you criticize what’s not.

This doesn’t mean that we simply ignore the faults in our churches and fellow believers. On the contrary, the more we love who Jesus is, the harder it is to tolerate misrepresentations or distortions of his character.

But no matter where you look within a church, and no matter how many churches you visit, you’ll always find something that’s not quite right or that could be better.

You will never find the perfect church

Flawed individuals cannot form a flawless group of people.

When you have the freedom to choose between multiple churches, countless reasons arise to choose one over the other. Some differences are theological and some are superficial.

“This church has a better teaching pastor.”

“That church has better child care.”

“I don’t like the way [insert church name] handled [insert situation].”

These may be deeply personal reasons. They may be completely valid concerns. But if you can’t find a church that satisfies you, consider these words from Charles Spurgeon, The Prince of Preachers:

You that are members of the church have not found it perfect and I hope that you feel almost glad that you have not. If I had never joined a Church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all! And the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect Church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.

In his sermon, “The Best Donation (No. 2,334),” Spurgeon goes on to say,

. . .the Church is faulty, but that is no excuse for your not joining it, if you are the Lord’s. Nor need your own faults keep you back, for the Church is not an institution for perfect people, but a sanctuary for sinners saved by Grace, who, though they are saved, are still sinners and need all the help they can derive from the sympathy and guidance of their fellow Believers.

What if we loved Jesus
How do you respond to the imperfections in your church?

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Want more powerful insights from Spurgeon? You can read and search every sermon he ever wrote with The Complete Spurgeon Sermon Collection.


    • Nathan Garrison says

      Mr Andy Michaels, everyone who has made a comment on this page has the inclination to extend good intentions to everyone. But, that is not the topic, here. Charles Spurgeon Addresses Church shoppers; You will never find the perfect church; You that are members of the church have not found it perfect… I tell You now, the Perfect Church is The Jerusalem in the far distant Heavens, The Abode of God, Today. The Mother of Us All. And It is coming Here, to this Earth. The very earth We live on, Today. Have You not read about it in the last chapters of Ezekiel ? Ever Living Father Ever Living Creator Our Redeemer Holy One of Israel has sent many Prophets Judges Priests Apostles and God Himself was transformed into a man, with the express purpose to prepare Us for this Glorious Event. The Holy Bible is the Written Living Word of God. How to Prepare for Citizenship in the coming Kingdom of God. I tell You now, Preparing is much more than just calling on the Name of God. Accepting a free Gift of Grace… That‘s it ? … there is nothing else mentioned in the Living Word of God ? I pray You are correct. But, just in case there is more to it… I will continue My study of The Holy Word of God. And I will have it in my Heart to Believe; Every Word that Precedeth out of the Mouth of God. I will not accept second hand interpretation .

      • Nathan Garrison says

        [ June 22,2015] Pope Francis brings to light, again, the battle between a very large Apostate Church and a very small Apostolic Church. The 12th century Waldensians lead by Peter Waldo. The war between apostate and apostolic continuing from the garden of Eden thru today and into the end of this world era.

  1. says

    I could NEVER attend 'most' of today's churches, not because they're 'imperfect,' but because they are NOT even 'preaching the Word of Go!' Most "pastors" today in far too many churches refuse to even 'touch the inconvenient topic of SIN!' That is unbiblical, for the bible teaches us to 'preach the word in season and out of season!' The bottom line is 'sin' must be preached from the pulpit, regardless whether its 'popular,' or 'politically incorrect.' So for that, and that reason alone- I refuse to have anything to do with 'most' of today's so-called churches. I could easily name names, unfortunately it would be a very long list. And my intent is NOT to anger, nor discourage, but to point out 'why' I would never attend one of these 'sinless' churches, and how the bible tells us that we are to preach the Word of God without fear or trepidation. I'll go even further in stating most of these so-called 'men of God,' (not the God of the Bible I read), don't even have a 'back-bone.' They're more interested in 'growing their churches.' Why? More people, equals more 'money!' So, do these pastors love money more than God? I believe the answer is easy enough for a child to see.

    • PT says

      Then it would seem you need to start a church. If people don’t start good churches because there are none around them, then there will be no more gathering. Make disciples.

      The command to submit to elders and love a gathering of people are there. Make it a reality instead of excusing not attending because there are no good churches around you.

    • Nathan Garrison says

      what is sin ? the Word of God says; ” sin is the transgression of the Law “. The Word of God says; if I, [Eternal Father] had, sent Them, They would know this and would tell You, this. in season and out of season”… I, myself, can be certain of only one Prophet, sent by Eternal Father. there is one, We KNOW, will be a ‘man of God’. Jesus Christ is the first begotten Son of God. HE is GOD. the wise will know, Malachi 4:5-6 is a man, a Prophet of God sent to Us, Today. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD “… who is this person, who was this person, did You know him, did You hear what he said, will You listen ? if You ‘believe’ the Word of God, You will KNOW, most will NOT listen… what is the “great and dreadful day of the LORD ? need, We, be concerned ? has Your Preacher told You, have You been warned ? there are over 2 Billion ‘Christians’ alive, today. could this be the ‘few’ or is it the ‘many’. “many are called, few are chosen”…

  2. says

    Yes Israel you have it right. I look at a church, if it is a gospel preaching church, as a family. What family does not have some dysfunctional members in it. In fact they may look at me as dysfunctional as well. But we love each other. Church choice should be based on the teaching of the complete Word not just that that tickles one's ears. Worship is not about pleasing us it is about God! Do we reall worship Him on Sunday or just attend…..

  3. Tony says

    If leadership at your church are not seeking God or they are following a agenda. If they do not give the Holy sprit free reign, If the control the people with endless rules and members seek positional authority…… Its time to find another church.. The saying grow where you are planted is Bull Even plants need room to grow if they were planted in a pot that is too small. Bottom line “Listen to what God wants you to do not man. If you seek him earnestly he will let you know what to do.

  4. says

    I am blessed. I became the pastor of a small non-denominational church in a small town back in November. I am the only paid staff. When makes the church a blessing is how much the congregation volunteers to do whatever is needed. It was this way when I arrived, so I mostly stand back and let things happen. The DCE moved VBS to the evening, starting at 5:30 PM so that folks who work can participate – what a novel idea, and we're going to feed the kids and volunteers dinner.
    The prevailing attitude is, "What can I do for the church, not what can the church do for me."

  5. says

    I know there are Churches that are sound out there. Glad to be in a great one now. I know MacArthur has a sheapards conference each year. Those seem to be very sound in The Word. I’m encouraging a friend to find a church that is sound in the Word and not to be so focused on thing like musi programs. Not much in the bible about those things. Plenty about teaching Gods Word.

  6. Jacqueline Arthurs says

    Romans 12:18
    16Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
    This reading has been a deep source of encouragement and reminder of what my priorities should be. The church has been one of my greatest trials for this reason – it is amazing how believers(?) in Christ can covet and resent God’s mercy to another… Jonah.

  7. Nathan Garrison says

    It is important to keep in mind Apostle Paul is speaking to the Romans who have congregated to him. Paul leads a ‘Church of God’. The same Church Jesus started with the Apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost about 40 days after Christ returned to the far heaven. Paul is filled with The Spirit of Eternal Father. He Proclaims the ‘Good News of the Kingdom of God’. This Good News comes out of the ‘Law of The Government of Eternal Father. We are not to judge but at the same We are Our Brothers Keeper. We could be held accountable for their ‘death’ if We do not warn our Brother; We all must obey the Law. Apostle Paul writes a great deal about ‘Obedience’.

  8. says

    There are no PERFECT church, but there is a real church. The church that Jesus establish with His words to Peter. This is the Lord's church and Jesus is Lord. This is the church that He establish with His words. It is the church where God is moving and the gates of hell shall prevail. This is the Lord's church and Jesus is Lord.

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