Of course, a savvy potential buyer will be interested in “comparables” — other houses that are more or less like ours and have sold recently.
Aside: the word “comparable” has three syllables, not four. I think realtors (incidentally, also a difficult, two-syllable word for most of the populace to pronounce, not unlike “nuclear,” which has been difficult for multiple U.S. presidents of late) may use the abbreviation “comps” in order to avoid pronouncing the full word.
Anyway, one often likes to try to compare similar products before making a decision to buy one. That stands to reason.
Yet there are no comparables, in our locale. No matter how much a buyer thinks he is being smart by looking for them, there simply aren’t any. In the case of our house, value will have to be decided with other bases in mind. (Er … charm & quaintness? nice back yard? walking distance to “town”? new fridge and dishwasher? great closet and cabinet space? serendipitous peach tree?)
When one is looking for a new church, he might also be interested in comparables. And one immediately enters into a problem area when he begins to compare church “products,” as though there are many “like” products to be compared and decided among. What we need to remember is that there is but one church in God’s mind, and it is beyond compare.
A brief warning to any readers who are dyed-in-the-wool CofCers (or of any other denomination) and can’t see past the walls: the church of the New Covenant writings is not equivalent to any humanly identifiable group, including “our” own. No group exists outside scrutiny, and every group that uses a name to distinguish itself is denominating. While our group is closer to the original intent in many respects than most other relatively large, recognized fellowships, it is not equal to God’s church.
THE church is not any (that’s right — not any — not my subgroup or yours) of the ones identified in the Yellow Pages or on the Web. It is the one whose “roll” is kept only by the Lord. And there are no comparables.