In the book "The Information Diet" there was a nice metaphor that struck me. The author was talking about while the idea of greater transparency in the world is good, it is not a solution to the problems in the world. Just because we can see where the money is being spent in our governments does not mean that governments will be good stewards of that money. Thus transparency is good but honesty and integrity are much better ideals.
Here is the metaphor he used:
"If you turn the lights on in a roach-infested apartment, it doesn’t kill the roaches, it just makes them organize in the shadows. Sunlight only hides the infestation. To get rid of them, you should clean up the apartment and probably call an exterminator."
The church talks a lot about being a "city on a hill" a "reflection of the light of God" and whatnot. All good metaphors. But when we are content on being just a reflection of the Light do we really just allow the roaches in the world (aka: sin) just become better organized?
Is the church intended to be that place where we help shine the light or is the Church that place that is called to help clean up the apartment?