I don’t buy the theology of the “true” church versus the “false” church. I claim this is an escape clause for the church to disavow itself from its mistakes, its errors, its faults, its problems. If a church is “bad” then the “true” church can just say it isn’t a real church. Rather than owning up to its propensity to fall, it demonizes those that do.
It’s also a way for the “true” church to feel superior to the others who aren’t measuring up to its standards.
It’s like if we say any marriage that fails wasn’t a true marriage. If it was true, it wouldn’t have failed. Rather than owning up to the difficulty of marriage, its trials, its struggles, and its failures, successful marriages… the “true” marriages… pompously annul the “false” ones that didn’t succeed.
There’s ONE universal church… all of them… the good, the bad, the ugly. Once we confess that then we can get to work. Together. Rather than lopping off our sick, struggling, or sinful parts, we heal them.
This is why some people get upset when I apparently lump all churches together when I address its issues. But this is how I see it: when one suffers, we all do. It’s our problem, not only theirs!
The church gets lost. Period.
It loses connection to its roots. Period.
It must continually remind itself of what it is and reform itself over and over and over again.
Just like any marriage.