Interesting piece on Virtue Online. Right from the get-go it is made clear that Google users are guilty of a typical egocentricity – they always ask why the Church has failed them or their tribe but seem not to have a care whether it is failing God let alone making it to the second-base question, why is it failing God.
It should not be surprising that people view the Church as an external other. This is exactly the kind of attitude that it has spent 2,000 years cultivating in order to butress itself as the ruling spiritual, and often political, power in people’s lives. The Scriptural truth that we, the faithful, are the Church and that furthermore we each receive the Holy Spirit not as something that is poured out on us but is within us, with us contestantly, and therefore we are autonomous temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) would obviously vastly diminish the power of the ecclesiastical establishment and of the Church and that couldn’t be allowed – oh no.
The author seeks to absolve the Church saying the fault is within the individual believer and that we are spectators dismisses the proponderence of false doctrine and the heresy and treason of the Church’s Leaders. Furthermore, the Church maybe happy to encourage the congregation to do their fair share of menial tasks but in terms of encouraging the flock to develop independently spiritually, well, again that is simply something the ecclesiastical establishment neither desires nor encourages. In fact, modern Churches bear more than a passing resemblance to the corrupt and wayward institutions our Lord Jesus Christ faced down and was ultimately crucified by. Incidentally, it is a telling aside that the author clearly means “God given gifts” to only refer to natural gifts not the gift and fruits of the Spirit.
Certainly it is true that the modern Church is a “dwelling place of demons”. The gates of hell have not prevailed against it and never will but that is only because the real Church is in the hearts of faithful across every denomination and even with those who have none, those lost sons and daughters of the Lord that wander alone, grasping in the dark. We need to find them and gather them close and give them shelter as the darkness closes in around and there we will have our true Church, one that is finally worthy of our Lord Jesus and one that never fails God nor His people.