The Church is perfect...on paper. Then you add us to it and we mess everything up. We try to clear things up that we think God wasn't specific enough on. We muddy things up that God made crystal clear. As Brian McLaren says "We see God as a bigger, better version of ourselves." Consequently, the things that are important to us must be important to him and the things that we see as unimportant he must see as inconsequential. Add to that our reactionary nature and you'll find that most doctrine winds up at it's essence being "Holy" opinion and reaction. When I look around (with eyes that are admittedly tainted with all of the above) I can't see anything that can seriously claim to be the Church that God had in mind. I read lots of articles and books that use scripture and point toward something closer (most of which can be found by clicking on the links to the right), but I don't know that any of us know what that kind of church would actually look like. So, what do we do? Do we give up on the church. Should all of us who see the inconsistancies between what the church is and what the church should be just walk away and start from scratch (as if somehow we could avoid the same pitfalls given time)? Could there be another answer? What if some of us stayed? What if we subtly, subversively, unflinchingly pointed the way to a more Biblical vision, not just with teaching and writing, but with the way we live our lives as well? I admit that this is incredibly frustrating. It flies in the face of our desire for instant gratification and overnight transformation. I admit that I'm a little irritated about it even as I type, but I believe that it's what Jesus would have us do.