Andrew Sullivan Says Forget the Church. That's Like Saying Forget Grace.
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Love sometimes expresses itself in anger, even angry screeds. I assume that Andrew Sullivan really does love his Catholic church, and that his frustration is an expression of that. I assume that all of us, Protestants and Catholics, who share his frustration do so because we really do love the church—or really want to love it once again.
Amidst the confusion and complexity of modern faith, it's tempting to long for a simple faith, one with a simple theology and simple ethics. What we are going to discover sooner or later, though, is something better: the faith Jesus offers us, one immensely rich and varied, as complex as a bottle of fine wine, as colorful as an impressionist landscape, as exasperating and wonderful as a family. It's a faith where forgiveness finally wins—Jesus' forgiveness of the church, Jesus' forgiveness of us, and our forgiveness of one another.
Jesus looks at even the likes of us—those who despise that which he lovingly created and holds close to breast, his unholy church—and calls us to join in, that we all might learn to live his merciful life together, as nothing but sinners in the hands of a gracious God.
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Previous SoulWork columns include:
Giving Up Self-Discipline for Lent| There is really only one 'lesson' I've learned in the penitential season. (February 22, 2012)
Looking for Jesus in All the Wrong Places | Why do we want to see God's face when it's only going to kill us? (January 26, 2012)
Why the Bible is Not a Book of Moral Laws | Contrary to popular belief, it's the startling gift book. (January 12, 2012)
In "SoulWork," Mark Galli brings news, Christian theology, and spiritual direction together to explore what it means to be formed spiritually in the image of Jesus Christ.
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