Fault-finding is the easiest of all tasks!
(J.C. Ryle, "The Church!" 1896)
Let me warn men not to be shaken by those who say that all visible Churches are necessarily corrupt. There never have been lacking men of this kind, men who have forgotten that everything must be imperfect which is carried on by human agency, and have spent their lives in a vain search after a perfectly pure Church.
Fault-finding is the easiest of all tasks. There never was a system upon earth, in which man had anything to do, in which faults, and many faults too, might not soon be found. We must expect to find imperfections in every visible Church upon earth. There always were such in the New Testament Churches. There always will be such now. There is only one Church without spot or blemish — that is the one true Church, the body of Christ, which Christ shall present to His Father in the last great day.
Where is the visible Church upon earth, which is perfect, without spot, and without blemish? None, I say confidently — none is to be found at all. Many people of scrupulous consciences, I firmly believe, have found this to their cost already. They left the Church because of alleged imperfections.
If we belong to the true Church, let us see that we love all its members. Let our principle be, "Grace be with all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." (Ephesians 6:24) Wherever we find a man who has grace and faith — let us hold out our right hand to him. Let us not stop to ask him where he was baptized, and what place of worship he attends. Does he love Jesus? Is be born again? Then let us say to ourselves, "This is a brother. We are to be with him in Heaven by-and-by forever. Let us love him upon earth. If we are to be in the same home — let us love each other even now upon the road."