When people use the word 'church', it can mean many things, conjure up different ideas and memories, and can invoke debate and argument in any number of groups.
To some 'church' simply means the building in town with the big steeple, granite or limestone walls and even maybe a noisy or beautiful bell. To others it represents the true believers in Christ, his bride and body. Some think immediately of recent and not-so-recent scandal and evil done by the 'church'. Sexual abuse cases, member abuse cases. Opposing theologies literally battling it our for 'supremacy'. It all gets labelled 'church.'
What words come to mind when we say church? War, pope, televangelist, hypocrites, dummies, crutch, liars, smug, arrogant, virtuous, poor, dummies, protestant, weird, cult, irrelevant, helpful, compromised, judgemental, loving, isolated, out-of-touch. To name just a few. The list tends toward the negative. Church is often known for the bad things that happen, and not the good. The part is taken for the whole and vice-versa.
So, what or who, and 'why', is the church? And more importantly, does it matter?