Reading this document that I wrote about fifteen years ago, it strikes me as open to certain possible snares. There is a kind of tribalism that is abhorrent to the Gospel mandate of love for God and his people. In John’s letters he talks of those who refuse teachers from the wider Church. That can happen.
But when one catches a vision of the Church as a real historical institution, like Israel except transnational, one can also abuse the concept. One can claim loyalty to “The Church” while not actually loving the real local people in one’s own life.
The thing about “the visible Church” is that it is not actually visible. You can’t see transcontinental, inter-generational organizations any more than you can see God’s decrees or the secrets of a persons heart. The only part of the Church you can see, hear and experience in other ways are the Christians you know in their capacities and offices.
And you are supposed to love them.