A Penitent Church

Have you ever been a part of a church like the one Dr. Rowan describes below and then found yourself cut off from it?

rowan-williams

The Church’s work of judgement, its critical role in the world, is a nonsense (and worse) if criticism is not built into its own life and structures. Only a penitent Church can manifest forgiven-ness – a tautology, perhaps, but worth saying. A merely critical Church can reproduce in horrifying forms precisely those oppressive and exclusive relations which it exists to judge. It will pass sentence upon those beyond its boundaries and their exact definition. It will, explicitly, or implicitly, see ‘belonging to the Church’ as a matter of fulfilling conditions of membership; so that it possesses criteria by which some believers can be cut off when necessary from its life. It thus encourages that attitude between believers or groups of believers which is almost preternaturally alert to failure and delinquency. (Dr. Rowan Williams, Resurrection, pg, 46)

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