Raw Materials

    "This is the church as we have too often practiced it in the modern era.  The world exists as a source of raw materials for the church.  It's okay to tear people out of their neighborhoods as long as we get them into the church more.  It's okay to devalue their 'secular' jobs as long as we get them involved in church work more.  It's okay to withdraw all our energies from the arts and culture 'out there' as long as we have a good choir and nice sanctuary 'in here.'  It's okay because, after all, we're about salvaging individuals from a sinking ship; neighborhoods, economies, cultures, and all but individual human souls will sink, so who cares?  In this way of thinking, we could build more Christians, better Christians, and dynamic Christian communities ... at the expense of the world, not for its good.
    As we enter the postmodern world, we have to ask ourselves some tough questions: Is the world a mountain to be clear-cut and strip-mined for the benefit of the church?  Or is the church a catalyst of blessing for the good of the world?"

Brian McLaren in The Church on the Other Side, page 37.