I received an email from a reader of my blog, and it got me thinking a lot about what to be teaching my kids about the “church” and the “church” structure. I do not want my kids thinking that since we do not go to church anymore we shun the people who are attending. It is quite the opposite. We can dislike the man-made system that runs the institution, but still care and love for all the people within the walls.
The last thing I want to do is create an “us versus them” mentality. We need to be in community together. We need to break down the walls of bullshit dogma (and in some cases we need to break down the actual walls)
The more I read scripture it demonstrates over and over again that Truth (Christ) has always been hated by the masses, and especially by those who hold so-called positions of authority inside an institutional system like “church” or “government”.
Men who would assume positions and titles abound in every sort of institution, either religious or political.
There are many men who would receive acclaim without service.
There are many men who become intoxicated with the lust for power.
There are many men who would gladly earn a living preaching on religious matters, or preaching from a seat in congress.
The email I read gave me a picture of a drill sergeant barking orders to a marching platoon, which to me seems really close to what a preacher does to a passive audience. This style of preaching is nowhere to be found in Scripture, but unfortunately it IS found throughout the “church” organizational systems made by man.
Many so-called “leaders” of various institutions have thought that this is the kind of authority that they are to possess in order for them to rule over the Body of Christ. Their teachers, their seminaries, along with their carnal hearts had a role in telling them to rule in this way.
This has caused untold hardship to many individuals and families in many institutional churches.
The need to keep people in line by force or coercion (better known as guilt to many of us post-institutional wilderness wanderers) is not by any means a scriptural principle, but somehow IS seen all too often in a corporate business, institutional church type system.
The church should not be a spiritual boot camp with a preacher barking orders. The military is structured that way, but God did not want His Church structured that way.
Jesus, while continually challenging the narrow-mindedness and self-righteousness of the “leaders” of His day, insisted that things were going to be different in his “community”.
When His disciples came to Him and asked who would be greatest in the Kingdom, Jesus answered, Dudes, you all need to change your standards of operation. You guys are looking at things in all the wrong ways. You need to change your attitude or you will not enter the kingdom on my watch.
Does this sound like the apostles were going to receive even a hint of position, title, and institutional “rulership”?