I think there is a fundamental difference between how I see the Church (and a few of us) and the mainstream views (both protestant and Catholic). This is where I feel so much tension.
In my view, God's work in the world is all about redemption. Total redemption. Redemption of our souls is the epicenter but not the place of completion. From there it goes out to touch all of what is.
Dickens described so well that great alienation between people. Where, in those clusters of homes, lies people who hold secrets in their beating hearts that they can't even share with those laying next to them. The books are all closed. This is the shadow of the fall and the great alienation . . . one from another.
Most people see the function of the Church as a continuation of Old Testament Temple. Even that was a man-made notion. But it was all about what we can do "for" God. But like God Himself said (in such words) what does He need from us? Does He need our "worship" as if He would feel blue if His ego wasn't constantly stroked? Isn't the earth His footstool?
No, just like the sabbath, the Church is God's gift to men and women and part of the great social redemption.
It is so hard to accept free gifts. I always want to pay-back.
So good Church is where that great alienation is reversed. It shouldn't be a place where more secrets are kept. In my experience, there are more lies told in the vestibule of an Evangelical church than about anywhere else in society. But the Church should be, as that act of social redemption, be a place where the lies are turned back and honestly prevails and the secrets within each heart begins to come out and the springs on the books become broken and the frost on the lake begins to thaw.
But why do we lie? We lie because there is a myth that we can be "good" and that everyone else really is good (because they are lying). So we can't reveal the truth about ourselves if we don't look good, because we will be alone. Being alone terrifies all of us . . . to the point that we do become alone. But when we all acknowledge that we are not good . . . but that we are human . . . we can all start to come out of our holes together.
So that is why I am often disappointed in the Church. I don't care for "temple." I long for social redemption.