Frederick von Hugel said the institution of the church is like the bark on the tree. There's no life in the bark. It's dead wood. But it protects the life of the tree within. And the tree grows and grows and grows and grows. If you take the bark off, it's prone to disease, dehydration, death So, yes, the church is dead but it protects something alive. And when you try to have a church without bark, it doesn't last long. It disappears, gets sick, and it's prone to all kinds of disease, heresy, and narcissism.
I think the church is an important component of a Christian s life, just like the family is of a human being s. This gives a bit of insight into why I love the church but feel it s necessary to critique it. There s no life in the bark, nor will there ever be. I critique how we do church, just as we ought to critique how we do family, work and politics in order that individual human liberty is not violated.