Hopeless Church

Articles like these are likely to titillate the ears of the American Christian masses, but I'm not sure how helpful they are. Let people settle into complacency and what's the use of working toward change? That is what Mark Galli seems to be proposing:
I wonder if [Jesus] calls those of us frustrated with church, those of us who think the church is not good enough for our godly aspirations, to become embedded in this wretched institution precisely because it is wretched. And calls us to be a part of it not to reform it or save it, but to remind ourselves week in and week out that, truth be told, we're just like these sinners.

Of course there's an element of truth to this: no church is perfect, because no human being is perfect. Therefore, we must show grace (just as Christ shows us) and stop measuring everyone else by a standard we do not (and cannot) hold ourselves to. But Galli seems to go well beyond this obvious affirmation, putting out a call for utter complacency. Taken to its logical extreme, his argument would suggest that the Reformation should never have happened... or worse, that the ethical, missional, and ecclesiastical (well, all but historical and theological) parts of the New Testament need not have been written.

If Word and indwelling Spirit are not enough to create a visibly Christian church this side of heaven, there is hope neither for the church nor for the world.

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