The local church is not a “Christian” club, although many churches seem to function as one. The local church is not about condemnation; however, many churches seem to think that’s there “Christian” task.
The local church is a place to hold one another in hope-filled challenge, an inclusive place for honest, open and meaningful conversation. Unfortunately, by large, it is not such a place.
The local church has become lost in promulgating its own brand of theology and absolutes. In the local members argue with one another about this or that, often to the exclusion of those who believe or act differently.
It makes no difference whether the church is liberal or conservative.
In seeking to protect “The Right Theology” the local church has failed to proclaim her unique message of hope for all creation. Rather, for the most part, the local church, while meeting the needs of a few has become indifferent, or even opposed to the needs of the vast majority.
The God of all-encompassing love – the God who feels our pain – the God who mourns and laughs with us, is more often than not found in the side streets of life rather than the local church.
(My appreciation to Bishop John Shelby Spong who inspired my thinking and from whom I borrowed a bit of his thinking.)