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Must we be perfect before we can join church?

From the August 1990 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Recently I was reminded of a conversation that took place many years ago between my husband and another man during a business trip. The man commented that my husband seemed to be a religious man with high morals and asked to what church he belonged. My husband protested that he had too many faults to overcome to join a church. The man replied: "If you wait until you are perfect to join a church, you will never join!"

Must we be perfect before we can make a real commitment to church? Consider the disciples of Christ Jesus. Why did he choose those particular men? So far as we can determine from the Gospels, they had a lot to overcome. Peter was impetuous. Thomas was doubtful. More than once the Master rebuked their lack of faith and understanding. They even quarreled among themselves over who would be greatest. But they all had one thing in common: They were willing to follow Christ Jesus.

What was it that made these men leave all— home, family, friends, business—to follow this man? They recognized—even if only to a degree —that Jesus was the Messiah of whom Moses and the prophets had spoken. See John 1:41, 45. They were receptive to his call and willing to learn and practice what they understood of his teachings.

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