The Holiness of the Church (Vol 2, Ch 22)

By Michael Ruse:

This chapter briefly deals with two questions that mainly became controversial in Western Christianity: 1) Paul’s replacement theology that identifies Christ’s Church as the true Israel, not the continuation of the Jewish nation or the practices of Judaism, and 2) the degree of sin that affects the status of members, clergy, and sacraments of the Church. 

In the Church, becoming holy is normal. Each of us can do this with the grace of God first, then with our own effort. But is it a contradiction to believe that the Church is Christ’s pure bride while also admitting that people in the same Church sin? 

John Chrysostom and Anastasius of Sinai describe God’s Church as a hospital, not a courtroom, and an assembly where sinners find medicine and healing, not a place of torture or rejection.