A wine tester will develop a certain preference of quality. Humans have the habit of criticizing to great detail so they may only expect quality, or at least desire it—Humans naturally are connoisseurs. This is, in itself, is not of bad quality. In its inherent purpose, it drives humans only to produce the best of results. Although, it is important that we do not fully apply this connoisseur practice to our faith, specifically within the Church.
We as college students, generally freshmen, are searching for a church to attend here for the next four years or even longer. After visiting numerous churches within few months’ time, we train ourselves to have specific desires out of the church. In other words we ask “Is this church going to impress me?” A list of standards starts to form in our heads. We start to go down the checklist and if a single check is missing, we start to question if we would continue to attend this church. Instead of letting the spirit lead us, we let our eyes, ears, and all our senses create an impression. In this exercise, the attender is letting that which is material influence what is spiritual. C.S. Lewis addresses the issue in Screwtape Letters, a book on spiritual warfare from the perspective of a demon, “Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches…”. Deciding to attend a church should have nothing to do with our comfortability or compatibility—honestly the only question we should ask is, “Is this church sharing the Jesus’ Truth?” If we begin to front the church with numerous questions such as: Is this church Calvinist or Armenian, do they believe in the practice of heavenly tongues, large or big, topical or scriptural; I have found with in my first few months we, students are generating shallow and extremely materialistic standards of the church. These qualifications range from the style of worship to whether or not if they have a café in a close vicinity. C.S. Lewis continues on the topic of the dangers of church criticizing, “…The search for a ‘suitable’ church makes the man a critic where the Enemy [God] wants him to be a pupil. I have found myself making or even criticizing elements of my current church. God has fortunately convicted me of my habit. The Father showed me, “Blessed is the man who loves the Bride, not because of Her beauty, Her sweet voice, nor Her wise words, but loves Her for Her heart.” So I pray, LORD let us not store up wants from your church but fulfill what You desire of Your Bride. Let us be servants rather than those who want service. For God, You sent Your Son, the greatest servant to walk this earth, on our behalf. I pray the church follows Her teacher in His practices. Amen.