Saturday, August 31, 2013

You Know The Institutional 'Church' Is Completely Out Of You When...

2 Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"

*Note: In this article, when the author renders the words 'Church' and Institution (or Institutionalism), as shown here, he is referring to our modern day Business-entity, Main Stream, Man-made 'Church' System. When he renders the word church in all lower case lettering, he is referring to Christ's Authentic local body of believers who assemble in homes, just as He intended.

I'd like to offer another post on the lighter side of coming out of the Institutional 'Church' model. It is often said in house church that whenever someone new comes in, he still may have some residual behavior patterns left over from Institutionalism. When we see this we playfully say, "You can take the man out of the Institution, but sometimes you can't take the Institution out of the man." For those who may not realize that the Institution is completely and entirely out of them, I offer these telltale signs to look for. So, without further adieu, 'You Know The Institutional 'Church' is Completely Out of You When,..."

Men and boy's 'Sunday Go To Meeting Clothes' regularly consist of Hawaiian shirts and jeans in the summer and plaid flannel shirts and jeans in the winter.

Watching the movie, 'The Matrix' takes on a whole new context and meaning.

You don't care what your former pastor would think.

You don't fuss over how shiny your shoes are.

You now laugh at the existence of 'Bible Colleges.'

"Climbing the 'Church' Ladder" means helping a friend re-roof his home.

"Putting on Airs" means hanging a new air freshener on your car's rear view mirror.

You're regularly meet new people who grow their own vegetables.

You have a new respect for house churches in China.

Your old pastor constantly warned us of the evils of Internet social media, and then we run across his Face Book page while surfing the net.

You try and figure out a way to get some of your tithing dollars back.

You quit trying to get your tithing dollars back after you realize that your old pastor is as tight as a hermetically sealed mayonnaise jar under Funkenwagnall's porch. (from a Johnny Carson bit as 'Carnac' on the old Tonight Show).

You don't consider today's missionaries true missionaries, but traveling salesmen with a martyr complex.

You notice that there is no such thing as missionaries going on 'deputation' in Scripture.

Wiping ones feet when entering a church meeting becomes a common courtesy, not a By-Law in a 'Church' Constitution.

You now chuckle to yourself at the idea of 'Church' Constitutions.

You realize that the 'Apostle's Creed' is funnier than this post.

You realize that there are pets in the room during a church meting and no one minds.

Someone gently burps after the meal, and it's considered a complement.

There are no grandfather clocks (or some other prizes) to win for coming out on top in a 'Soul Winning Contest.'

The only Bus Ministry you're aware of is when you go down to the Bus Terminal to win souls and hand out tracts.

A pastor isn't 'Bally-oohed' like a politician and then 'elected' by a vote. He is recognized among the body by his walk with God and outward testimony.

Someone new asks who the pastor is and there are a number of men you could introduce him to.

You realize that pastors are co-equal and plural instead of being dominant and singular. (~Acts 20:17, 28)

You understand that a nursery is a place where one grows plants, not a place where young children are kept during a church meeting.

You notice that the Book Store is located in your local mall.

You notice that during Easter you don't see the ladies wearing big hats.

You finally understand fully that 'Church' is not a place we go to; we are Christ's assembly (ekklesia).

And the number one reason You Know the Institutional 'Church' is Completely Out of You is When,

You see someone new expressing his thoughts and doctrines like an Institutionalist and you can join in on the fun by saying, "You can take the man out of the Institution, but you can't take the Institution out of the man," while kidding one another on how we used to behave.

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