Read Revelation 2:12-17
12 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:
13 “I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne,yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas,my faithful witness,was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.
14 “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam,who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. 15 In a similar way,you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. 16 Repent of your sin,or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone,and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it. (NLT)
There was a well-known writer from years ago called A. W. Pink. He wrote and taught extensively on the need for doctrinal correctness. So concerned was he for this orthodoxy that the final years of his life were spent away from churches. He reckoned he could not find sufficient doctrinal purity in any of them so he steered clear of all of them.
It is a fact that no church has a monopoly on biblical truth; each church may err in some way or other. Just like the church at Pergamum. The city was the centre of emperor worship and so was seen as especially opposed to Christianity. Note that emperor worship is seen as ultimately satanic.
The Christians at Pergamum were praised for their faithfulness to Scripture in the face of fierce opposition. Yet they were not ‘doctrinally pure’. They tolerated some false teaching and false ethical conduct stemming from that teaching. The Lord praises them and rebukes them in the same passage.
A reminder to us that while we are to properly seek commitment to truth in our churches,we may find that like Pergamum,we are a mixed bunch. We stand firm on some things and get the praise of God. We give way on others and get corrected. This side of heaven there is no perfect church-only a perfect God who loves his imperfect bride.