“The fundamental role of Christians, individually and collectively, is to witness to this Kingdom in the power of the cross as suffering servants of mankind just as did their Lord. Christians need not worry if they fail to convert large numbers; they can live as a little flock. They can cheerfully leave the question of visible success to God, knowing that he wills to use their witness in apparent defeat as in apparent victory. Faithfulness is all, and faithfulness involves the concern of the Good Samaritan for every kind of human need and suffering. The Church must stand with the poor and the oppressed against the rich and the oppressors, not only here in the United States, but everywhere. It must side with the under-developed nations against the complacency and irresponsibility of the affluent, so-called Christian ones. And it must do so in the power of the cross, as a suffering servant, in the spirit–to cite our greatest contemporary example–of Martin Luther King. It must, in other words, stand for justice and human dignity and reconciling love for all men, including the oppressors, not for hatred or violence. This is the most difficult part of its ministry because the community or person who fights, really fights for true humanity will be met with implacable hostility, and to refuse, absolutely refuse the counter-force and counter-hostility under these circumstances leads inevitably to a kind of inner death, and perhaps an outer one as well. Only what we have called a sectarian Church can do it. Only a community of fanatics will battle for reconciliation and true humaneness despite loss of numbers and of social acceptability.”
Lindbeck, “Ecumenism and the Future of Belief,” in The Church in a Postliberal Age, 102-103.