God’s truth and Human Response
Where would you place yourself between the assertion that there is no salvation outside the church and the position that the church is not essential to salvation? When you have decided where you stand along this continuum, then reflect on what your position says about God. Where is God in relationship to the church? Did God make a mistake in establishing the church?
WHO CREATED THE CHURCH?
Is the church purely a human construction apart from God’s purposes? Did God establish the church but humans frustrated God’s purposes by their behavior so that it is a failed project? Do you find yourself in the supersessionist camp where first the Jews, then the Christians, then the Muslims, and then the Mormons have each failed to fulfill God’s intention? Is the outcome of history beyond God’s control because the power of the sinfulness of humanity continues to defeat the best intentions of God?
WHAT IF WE TOOK GOD SERIOUSLY?
What if we take with full seriousness that God, rather than we as humans, is the determiner of truth? Then the issue becomes how we as humans have access to that truth. Without denying the obvious frailty of the church as a human institution, is it also possible to understand the church as the vehicle of God’s revelation of truth to the world? Instead of the church being a group of people who seek God, what if the church is God’ means of seeking to reveal the Divine self to people.
In this sense, the church is a downward movement rather than an upward movement. What if the church is the means by which God reaches out to people in a concrete, time-centered manner. I would propose that the church both reflects and transcends its human nature. It is God’s chosen instrument by which God enters time and addresses humans in a way that they can receive the divine revelation