Imperfect Worship

For while all the worshippers are faulty and imperfect, all their worship will be too: and if your actual sin, when you pray or preach effectively yourselves, doth not signify that you approve your faultiness; much less will your presence prove that you allow of the faultiness of others. The business that you come upon is to join with a Christian congregation in the use of those ordinances which God hath appointed, supposing that the ministers and worshippers will all be sinfully defective, in method, order, words, or circumstances: and to bear with that which God doth bear with, and not to refuse that which is God’s for the adherent faults of men, no more than you will refuse ever dish of meat which is unhandsomely cooked, as long as there is no poison in it, and you prefer it not before better.

Richard Baxter

Finding a church to worship with is perhaps one of the hardest tasks for a believer. Every church is different and every church has problems. For every strength a local church has, we also find a weakness–and who wants to pick a church with problems? Baxter’s reminder that all worship is imperfect is a perfect reminder for us.

As long as we find ourselves on this earth we will be surrounded by believers who are imperfect and who worship imperfectly, so make peace with it early. If God is gracious to bear with our imperfect worship shouldn’t we do the same for others?