The forgiveness business
The church is not in the world to teach sinners how to straighten up and fly right. That’s the world’s business; and on the whole it does a fairly competent—even gleefully aggressive—job of it. The church is supposed to be in the forgiveness business. Its job in filling pulpits is to find derelict nobodies who are willing to admit that they’re sinners and mean it. It’s supposed to take sheep who can be nothing but lost … and stand them up to proclaim that lostness, deadness, uselessness, and nothingness are God’s cup of tea. The church’s job is not to go around implying that those desperate states are conditions we must get over as quickly as possible once we’ve been found; its true work is to invite us all to go moonstruck over the news that the one operative consideration in our life is the Passion of the Finder to find.
~ Robert Farrar Capon, The Foolishness of Preaching