Is the church holy, divine, and theological in nature?
Or is the church human, historical, and sociological in nature?
Well, when everything seems to be going wrong…when I see all the horrible things happening in the life of Christian people…when I see all the imperfections, I tend to see the church as merely a human institution. I just absolutely dislike the church when I see it in this condition, but after all, aren’t we just humans? So should we just accept it as a human institution?
But when I see everything in the church going right…when God’s people are fulfilling God’s mission in this world…when I see Christ-followers actually following Christ and yielding their lives to the will of the Holy Spirit, and loving others as Christ has called us to love one another, I tend to see the church as holy and divine in nature.
So what gives? Is the church like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—a split personality with good and evil within? How are we supposed to see the church?
The church is divine, one, holy, catholic and apostolic. Yet, the church is also functioning in and throughout history as a human institution along with all of its sociological problems. There seems to be a dual nature to the church, human and yet holy and divine. The human is the old, and the spiritual is the new. What makes this dual nature of the church possible has to be the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of sinners.