Why do Christian churches seem messy and broken?

In this ongoing series, we attempt to answer questions from a searching Mormon

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Question #3:  Why do most Christian churches I have attended the last year seem so messy and broken?

When hearing about or reading the accounts of prominent Christians who have stumbled into immorality, my heart sinks. Moral failures and the appearance of hypocrisy from people who profess a faith in Christ affect hundreds if not thousands of Christians and non-Christians.

When a Christian church appears "messy and broken" due to strife or dissension, this not only causes grief for all Christians, but more importantly, it grieves God.

Poor examples from individual Christians, churches, or organizations tend to stand out like a sore thumb. Quite often, we miss the remainder of a healthy body of mature Christians who quietly uphold their confession with humble lives of service and love.

A life in Christ is not an easy one. The trials of living in a sinful world and in a sinful body can cause even the most faithful believer in Christ to respond poorly. I apologize and ask your forgiveness for those times when I or a fellow Christian have provided a poor example.

It is important to remember that we cannot hold God responsible for the behavior of those who profess faith in Him. It is also helpful to remember that we cannot judge by appearances.

Christ was messy and broken on the cross. His enemies celebrated what seemed to be a great victory for them. Yet, by His crucifixion, there was a great victory for the world -- a victory over sin.

With Christ and His work and His promises as our focus, we are not swayed by the actions of others, but the words and the completed work of Christ. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and nobody can come to God except through Him. (John 14:5-7) His truth sets us free from the eternal consequences of sin. His perfect obedience took our place on the cross. Faith instantly receives the benefit of Christ's redemption on our behalf. His resurrection validates His promise that "It is finished!" Only through Christ's work, not our own, can we receive eternal life.

While looking upon the sins of others in a messy and broken world it would be easy to ignore our own. We can turn to Christ and receive the full forgiveness of our sins. Our faith does not rest on our ability to follow Christ. Our faith rests on trusting His promises to be true. For this reason, the life of a Christian is a relationship of reconciliation, not a religion. Take God at His Word and believe His message, "I have forgiven you!"

Questions from a Searching Mormon:

1.         The Godhead- the LDS perspective makes the most sense.  Why did Christ cry out and pray to his father even calling him "Abba" in desperation and why was he called the son of God if he was God?  Who is God? 2.         Why have I had so many spiritual experience reading the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenant and Pearl of Great Price? 3.         Why do most Christian churches I have attended the last year seem so messy and broken? 4.         How could temple worship be wrong? It seems so selfless. 5.         Is the plan of salvation wrong? 6.         Was there really no pre-existence?  There seems to be substantial Biblical support as well as much western and eastern culture support in literature for it but I haven't talked to a Christian who believes in it. 7.         What is the relationship of families eternally? 8.         Are we children of God? If so how? 9.         Who is Satan, how is he associated with God and what role does he play?