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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : What Is Institutionalism and How Does It Affect the Church?

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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37631
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 What Is Institutionalism and How Does It Affect the Church?

Prior to Constantine, the church, although organized, was less institutional and more communal or organic. In other words, the outside world didn't think of "the church" as that building on the corner. Instead they thought of a community of people who were distinct in both their conduct and character, the overarching characteristics being their love for others, compassion toward the needy, and joy-filled lives. The early Christians lived with hope and shared their hopeful vision of life and a world made better by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. These Christians saw the world through Jesus' tearful eyes, seeing that things were not as they should be. This vision would shape their mission and purpose as they worked to bring the redemptive power of Christ and his kingdom to bear on every aspect of life and society. These Christians, through reliance upon God, would change the world!

Over the centuries, however, this would change. First, the marriage between church and state would lead to the concentration of social, cultural, and political power-power that corrupts. It was this condition that, in large part, would spark the Protestant Reformation. Then came the Enlightenment, with its emphasis on human reason and ingenuity. Over the years, the influence of the Enlightenment would elevate man's role in human affairs and diminish the role of the Holy Spirit and the reality of Christ's kingdom. Increasingly within the church, men would come to rely more on management techniques and human strategies (i.e., the tools of modernity) to fulfill the church's mission on earth.

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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/2/18 8:02Profile

Joined: 2010/11/24
Posts: 311

 Re: What Is Institutionalism and How Does It Affect the Church?

This scripture came to mind as I read the post.

Matthew 15:6
- Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.

7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

It is a slow process that happens to the best of us -

- Adding little innocent traditions to our worship.
- hypocracy creeping in.
- cooling of our affections of Him
- following "human" teachers , etc.

Been there done that. :\

J Kruger

 2013/2/18 11:19Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


"In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely."

(Jerry) Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy

Mike Compton

 2013/2/18 13:15Profile

Joined: 2010/11/24
Posts: 311


wow - Jerry Pournelle realy nailed it.
Thanks for sharing that. :0

J Kruger

 2013/2/19 4:33Profile

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