A long time ago, I complained to some LC-MS Lutheran pastors that my own hometown congregation had been full of racists, as evidenced by their comfort in using the "N word" around children. Years later I can now understand that this should not be too surprising, if we understand the church to be a "hospital for sinners." However, the pastors' rebuttal pointed to communion. They said if the sacraments were rightly offered, and if we believe that the sacraments have salutary effects, then the congregation would be where God wants, and it was wrong to criticize it for being insufficient in any spiritual way.
This raises the question, what do Lutheran teachings say about the salutary effects of communion are? Who has said that the effects are "descriptive" (God did his work) as opposed to merely "salutary" (God will continue to work to improve you)?
Answers from any Christian group that practices any sort of real presence (as opposed to using only the terms "symbol" or "reminder") are very welcome here.