The Sinful Church

WHEN I SAW the cover of the July 1994 issue, it stopped me cold. For me, there would have been blank pages following the statement "Why I Stay in the Church." I’d never been able to articulate it, until Rosemary Radford Ruether and Richard Rohr, O.F.M., did it for me. From Ruether’s "to remain faithful to Christ in a sinful church" to Rohr’s quote from Romano Guardini that "the church has always been the cross that Christ is crucified on," no deeper, more profound truths have touched my heart since my call to ministry some 13 years ago.

Growing up in the church, I never imagined evil as part of the picture. I thought as I sang, "Jesus loves me, this I know," that the church was filled with folks whose only mission is to serve God and each other in love. I have discovered those folks, but I have discovered a large number—primarily clergy—whose mission it is to serve their own self-interests in a corporate-style mentality that is so out of sync with the life of Jesus that it gives me nightmares.

Why do I stay in the church? Because my faithfulness to Jesus Christ won’t let me do otherwise. Because I believe our Creator’s intentions for us, shown in Jesus, provide the hope of redemption not only for us, but for the community in which we come together.

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Sojourners Magazine November 1994
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