Let use first be honest, the history of the Christian church is not a wonderful or blameless history. Indeed the history of the Christian church is far too full of blood and violence to make the church worthy of redemption. Indeed only the perfect example of costless redemption of Christ can possible save the church which corrupted man has vainly tried to erect in his name.
Let us secondly explain what the church is and is not. The church is not the embodiment of Christ, it is not the house of God and it is not the sole path to God. The church is a collection of people who should (though shamefully not always) believe in God. These people join together to worship God and to better do Gods work and in order to physically build the kingdom of God on earth.
The trouble is of course that the church has for far too long pretended that it is somehow divine and that everything it does is thusly divine. It is not, indeed often it is as far removed from anything remotely divine that it is a sick joke. The church has far too often submitted a knee to the state or the market, it has too often chosen the world of man over the kingdom of God and it has too often believed its own divine propaganda.
Despite all of this, however, in its various incarnations it has always tried to build the kingdom of God and provided care for those who have filled the ranks of the oppressed. It has tried to live by the gospels and spread the moral and spiritual code found within. It has tried to guide people to Christ and to a life with Christ. It has tried to improve their lives and guide people to improve their own lives.
I often say the church has housed the homeless, and saved the fallen but it has also guided the guideless and love the unlovable but it has also comforted the grieving, dying. Indeed the Christian church and its members have extend the hand and sprit of Christ across the world and across the ages and we have done this for no greater purpose then as an act of praise. We should stand back from are world with a sense of glee that it has been are theology which set the slaves free, brought forth universal health and entrenched mercy at the heart of the ideals of the government.
As Christian we must never paper over the sins of the historic church nor delude ourselves that everything we do is Godly but nor should we allow are atheist brother paint every Christian as akin to the evil of the historic church. We should celebrate the moral laws given to us by Jesus and be proud of the good news that Christ redeemed us all, regardless of faith, merely because he loved us and above all love the imperfect, often week church.