I wrote these comments on another site yesterday:
What if the church as we have defined it historically was never really "the Church of Christ"? I wonder if when God looks down on us, he sees his church as something quite other than how we have defined it through the ages...
I feel a need to clarify what i just wrote a little. Mainly, two things from Christ are making me think like this. First, in John (14? 15?) Christ goes on and on about how those who belong to him will "obey his commands", basically do what he did and be about what he was about. Couple that with the spot where he talks about that the many who will come to him thinking that they knew him, and he will say he never knew them. That would say to me that when we look back in history, regarding the historical Christian church as Christ's church, we are likely at odds with God's own view. God likely looks inside and outside the walls of what has been called the church, sees those both inside and out who have been transformed by and have joined in on the Love of God, and calls only those his own.
By the same token, there are those within and without who are "haters of the light".
C.S. Lewis had a bunch to say on this subject that I will blog about soon.
I have been thinking about this for a while, and somethings I came across in Lewis were really reinforcing it. The first bit, from The Last Battle, when one of "followers" of Tash (the evil power) finds himself in heaven:
...So I went over much grass and many flowers and among all kinds of wholesome and delectable trees till lo! in a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like the ostrich, and his size was an elephant�fs; his hair was like pure gold and the brightness of his eyes, like gold that is liquid in the furnace. He was more terrible than the flaming Mountain of Lagour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world, even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert. Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of Thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him, for I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath�fs sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted... Beloved, said the Glorious one, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek...