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"Institutionalized"

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There are a variety of institutions today. For the sake of time and limited typing skills we will look at just a few. First let's look at the definition of institution. Websters says it is "an established custom or practice, an organization". Marriage and family are both institutions that would fall under the customs or practices. In this article, I want to focus on some of the institutions that fall under the "organization" definition.

An Organization is a functional, stuctured, systematic body or group. There are three institutions that I want to make mention of because of their simularities, mainly the condition of becoming institutionized. The term "institutionalized" in this article is not referring to the act of committing someone into a mental institute or hospital, but rather the act of becoming dependant to/on a particular institution's system. Let's begin with examining some characteristics of the prison, military and religious institutions.

The prison institution is an organization that confines those who are considered to be a threat to society. For the most part the institution consists of secured and guarded living quarters, a very structured set of rules and regulations and strict punishments to encourage compliance. Prisoners are dictated what time they are to eat, work, have recreation and sleep. For the most part it is a very disciplined atmosphere. For this reason they have an induction period or class of instruction for the new inmates. Because most of the prisoners lack self-discipline, a regulated system applied in a confined area is required. A long term exposure to this type of enviroment brings compliance and eventually dependency. When a long term prisoner is released or paroled back into society, they must again go through an induction. Some, once out in society have great difficulty functioning in this less restrictive enviroment and find themselves returning to the prison institution. Thus the term "institutionalized".

The military institution has many of the same characteristics as the prison institution. One acception is enlistment into the military institution is volintary unless the draft is applied during a time of war. Again there are a set of regulations perscribed to encourage/discourage certain behavor. A very controlled and systematic enviroment. Soldiers are dictated what time they are to eat, work, have recreation and sleep. Career soldiers typically have difficulty adjusting to civilian life at retirement and still practice the same disciplined life style.

The religious institution is very simular to the prison and military institutions in the way that it also has a set of rules and regulations to which the participants are required to comply. Like the military, it is for the most part volintary participation. Those involved in the religious institution long term also become institutionalized. They have difficulty functioning outside or apart from it's regulatory control. They may not be told when to eat, work, have recreation and sleep but it is dictated to them how to worship God, how to assemble, when to stand, sing, pray and listen. Man dictates how they should behave. This control is administered more mentally and emotionally than physically. There are some major manipulations used to bring about compliance. This religious system is not God instituted but man instituted.

Every member of the Body of Christ is to be governed and led by the Holy Spirit. When He is recognized as the governing presence there will be liberty not confinement.

Galations 5:19-26
19*When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21*envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22*But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23*gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
24*Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25*If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26*Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.

Once someone becomes institutionalized in the religious institution, it is very difficult to become de-institutionalized but it is possible. Needing the religious institutions regulatory system to control behavor is an indication of inmaturity and irresponsiblity. It's God's desire that our behavor be regulated from within us. This is the function of the Holy Spirit. So let's adhere to God's way of regulating behavor, by the leading of the Holy Spirit and we will mature to the full stature and character of Christ.
 
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I guess I'm a little confused as to what you are getting at. Are you saying you disagree with how today's church is typically led by a senior pastor while the congregation sits in the pews or are you saying you don't agree with those churches that focus on legalism?
 
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That was an excellent piece which you shared, jiggyfly. The typical institutional system of 'church' is truly a return to spiritual bondage versus freedom in Christ.
 
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I guess I'm a little confused as to what you are getting at. Are you saying you disagree with how today's church is typically led by a senior pastor while the congregation sits in the pews or are you saying you don't agree with those churches that focus on legalism?
I am saying there is a difference between the christian religious institution and the body of Christ governed by HolySpirit. If one wants to fully mature spiritually they must first get free from the christian religious institution.

The clergy/laity system is a carnal man made system. :wink:
 
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That was an excellent piece which you shared, jiggyfly. The typical institutional system of 'church' is truly a return to spiritual bondage versus freedom in Christ.
Thanks His_will_i_am, tis true, as a mater of fact the English word religion comes from the Latin word religio, meaning to bind again or obligate.
 
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Once someone becomes institutionalized in the religious institution, it is very difficult to become de-institutionalized but it is possible. Needing the religious institutions regulatory system to control behavor is an indication of inmaturity and irresponsiblity. It's God's desire that our behavor be regulated from within us. This is the function of the Holy Spirit. So let's adhere to God's way of regulating behavor, by the leading of the Holy Spirit and we will mature to the full stature and character of Christ.
Most certainly the religion of Jesus' day in israel had been hijacked by the Scribes and Pharisees and turned into a regimented rule-keeping system, but, I don't know of anything in the four gospels that indicates that God wanted to scrap that system. Instead, I believe, the Father is overhauling the religious system.

One example of this is the explosive growth in the number of non-denominal churches and the house church movement in the Western Hemisphere. House churches are virtually the only way for believers to meet in Third World countries, but, the growing popularity of non-denominational churches and house churches in the USA is evidence that the Spirit is at work in our country bringing the church to the full stature and character of Christ.

SLE
 
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I am saying there is a difference between the christian religious institution and the body of Christ governed by HolySpirit. If one wants to fully mature spiritually they must first get free from the christian religious institution.

The clergy/laity sytem is a carnal man made system. :wink:
Actually, I do not totally agree with this. While I agree that many churches have gone above and beyond by following a system of legalism, I do not agree that all "institutionalized" churches are in bondage.

Ephesians 4:11 said:
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers
The Greek word used for pastors is poimen and literally means a shepherd or one who oversees. Granted, back in the early church time period, there were many pastors over one church. However, this isn't so different today. We do have a senior pastor and an assistant pastor but they both lead despite only one of them typically preaching.

Hebrews 10:25 said:
not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Scripture is clearly telling us we are to assemble together as fellow believers in Christ. In fact, it appears as though there were people in that time period who were saying this was not necessary. The author of Hebrews declares otherwise. It is obviously a gathering of people. What is left to question is the context of this gathering.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 said:
The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.
This implies that there is an institutionalized church of some sort. Note that Paul does not tell them to abstain from this form of gathering. In fact, he appears to support it by simply guiding them back to the proper way to run such an institution. There were ground rules that must be followed. This is not bondage. It is simply avoiding chaos by maintaining proper order. We can know that this is not a home church because it speaks of the husband and wife going home afterwards. It is evident they were meeting somewhere and that there was some form of leadership and teaching as well as another form of submission taking place.

Hebrews 13:17 said:
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
Just in case there was still doubt as to whether or not we should submit to an authority within an institution, this verse should leave no doubt. We are clearly to submit to the pastors who watch over us and oversee. This is in some form of fellowship where there is submission/authority taking place in a common area where we submit to the leaders of the church. Again, this is not synonymous with bondage. It is synonymous with order as God meant it to be.

As I stated earlier, there are many local churches who has perverted this divine system by taking on a legalistic approach. These are the churches that say you MUST take communion every Sunday, you MUST tithe at least 10%, you MUST wear your Sunday best to church, you MUST recite after so-and-so in vain repetition, etc. These types of churches do place people in bondage and I will not stand for them but that does not mean the entire system is in bondage. It is the very system, when maintained by God's standard, that truly sets us free.
 
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Actually, I do not totally agree with this. While I agree that many churches have gone above and beyond by following a system of legalism, I do not agree that all "institutionalized" churches are in bondage.



The Greek word used for pastors is poimen and literally means a shepherd or one who oversees. Granted, back in the early church time period, there were many pastors over one church. However, this isn't so different today. We do have a senior pastor and an assistant pastor but they both lead despite only one of them typically preaching.



Scripture is clearly telling us we are to assemble together as fellow believers in Christ. In fact, it appears as though there were people in that time period who were saying this was not necessary. The author of Hebrews declares otherwise. It is obviously a gathering of people. What is left to question is the context of this gathering.



This implies that there is an institutionalized church of some sort. Note that Paul does not tell them to abstain from this form of gathering. In fact, he appears to support it by simply guiding them back to the proper way to run such an institution. There were ground rules that must be followed. This is not bondage. It is simply avoiding chaos by maintaining proper order. We can know that this is not a home church because it speaks of the husband and wife going home afterwards. It is evident they were meeting somewhere and that there was some form of leadership and teaching as well as another form of submission taking place.



Just in case there was still doubt as to whether or not we should submit to an authority within an institution, this verse should leave no doubt. We are clearly to submit to the pastors who watch over us and oversee. This is in some form of fellowship where there is submission/authority taking place in a common area where we submit to the leaders of the church. Again, this is not synonymous with bondage. It is synonymous with order as God meant it to be.

As I stated earlier, there are many local churches who has perverted this divine system by taking on a legalistic approach. These are the churches that say you MUST take communion every Sunday, you MUST tithe at least 10%, you MUST wear your Sunday best to church, you MUST recite after so-and-so in vain repetition, etc. These types of churches do place people in bondage and I will not stand for them but that does not mean the entire system is in bondage. It is the very system, when maintained by God's standard, that truly sets us free.
I see nothing of a religious institution mentioned or insinuated in the scriptures you listed but I can understand why you do. I used to be a participant several years ago. :wink:
 
Member
Most certainly the religion of Jesus' day in israel had been hijacked by the Scribes and Pharisees and turned into a regimented rule-keeping system, but, I don't know of anything in the four gospels that indicates that God wanted to scrap that system. Instead, I believe, the Father is overhauling the religious system.

One example of this is the explosive growth in the number of non-denominal churches and the house church movement in the Western Hemisphere. House churches are virtually the only way for believers to meet in Third World countries, but, the growing popularity of non-denominational churches and house churches in the USA is evidence that the Spirit is at work in our country bringing the church to the full stature and character of Christ.

SLE
I agree with some of what you have said here SLE

Instead, I believe, the Father is overhauling the religious system.
But we disagree here, I think that Father is calling people out of "religious system" just as He did in the first century. The Greek word ekklesia means "called out ones". Called out of the world but this includes the worldly religious inventions too.
 
Member
I see nothing of a religious institution mentioned or insinuated in the scriptures you listed but I can understand why you do. I used to be a participant several years ago. :wink:
It is impossible to have a system of submission, authority, and leadership without the institution in which it belongs. I am curious what you believe we are to do though.
 
Member
I agree with some of what you have said here SLE



But we disagree here, I think that Father is calling people out of "religious system" just as He did in the first century. The Greek word ekklesia means "called out ones". Called out of the world but this includes the worldly religious inventions too.
The Holy-Spirit is not on a mission of "REFORMATION of Religious System" and no amount of revival conducts on this religious system that will make her come back to life.

The only thing the Lord has spoken not once or twice both in Old and in New testament is "Come out of Her" NOT "Revive her or reform her". In fact the book of Jeremiah said "We've try to revive her but she couldn't be revived" Jeremiah 51:9.

The only option is to forsake her totally. Remember, that was the same thing the Lord did in the old time, in the time of Christ and also He is doing it NOW.

In the Old, He called the children of Israel to journey with Him but when they failed and turned the ways of God to an institutionalize systems, He didn't tried to reformed them rather He gave them to flames and burning and took a remnant out of them.

Also in the time of Christ, He also did not try to reform their system. In fact, He left their religious system and called out for Men that were unworthy to scribe and Pharisees. E.g Peter.

Did Christ reformed Judaism? No, He said "Your house is left for desolate". He abandoned their "RELIGIOUS SYSTEM" and seek out for the "REMNANT".

God is on the move, is either you follow the Pillar of fire or you remain in darkness.

"Come out among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean things; and I will receive you. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

"And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of Her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues"
 
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It is impossible to have a system of submission, authority, and leadership without the institution in which it belongs. I am curious what you believe we are to do though.
I visualize the body of Christ more as a family than an organization or institution and receive my guidance from HolySpirit, sometimes directly and other times indirectly through a more spiritually mature brother or sister. I don't participate in religious liturgy any more but I do enjoy fellowship and study with others frequently.:shade:
 
Member
The Holy-Spirit is not on a mission of "REFORMATION of Religious System" and no amount of revival conducts on this religious system that will make her come back to life.

The only thing the Lord has spoken not once or twice both in Old and in New testament is "Come out of Her" NOT "Revive her or reform her". In fact the book of Jeremiah said "We've try to revive her but she couldn't be revived" Jeremiah 51:9.

The only option is to forsake her totally. Remember, that was the same thing the Lord did in the old time, in the time of Christ and also He is doing it NOW.

In the Old, He called the children of Israel to journey with Him but when they failed and turned the ways of God to an institutionalize systems, He didn't tried to reformed them rather He gave them to flames and burning and took a remnant out of them.

Also in the time of Christ, He also did not try to reform their system. In fact, He left their religious system and called out for Men that were unworthy to scribe and Pharisees. E.g Peter.

Did Christ reformed Judaism? No, He said "Your house is left for desolate". He abandoned their "RELIGIOUS SYSTEM" and seek out for the "REMNANT".

God is on the move, is either you follow the Pillar of fire or you remain in darkness.

"Come out among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean things; and I will receive you. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

"And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of Her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues"
Some good points Greatness4life, some struggle to identify the dynamic differences between Christ's ekklesia and man's religious enterprise and in most cases confuses the two as the same entity.:wink:
 
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I visualize the body of Christ more as a family than an organization or institution and receive my guidance from HolySpirit, sometimes directly and other times indirectly through a more spiritually mature brother or sister. I don't participate in religious liturgy any more but I do enjoy fellowship and study with others frequently.:shade:
My question is how do you relate this frame of mind with:

1) the clear teaching of authority and submission within the Church
2) the office of overseers

These kinds of things point to more than just fellowship with the casual teaching of each other in the process. I'm not knocking fellowship or family but Scripture points to much more than that. It should not be an impersonal institution but rather, a loving and very personal type. There is to be family but there is also to be leadership and submission.
 
Member
My question is how do you relate this frame of mind with:

1) the clear teaching of authority and submission within the Church
2) the office of overseers

These kinds of things point to more than just fellowship with the casual teaching of each other in the process. I'm not knocking fellowship or family but Scripture points to much more than that. It should not be an impersonal institution but rather, a loving and very personal type. There is to be family but there is also to be leadership and submission.
From your post it seems that you must come from a dis-functional family if there was no apparent leadership and submission.

Who said anything about casual teaching? We study on a much deeper level than any church service could possibly provide. :wink:
 
Member
My question is how do you relate this frame of mind with:

1) the clear teaching of authority and submission within the Church
2) the office of overseers

These kinds of things point to more than just fellowship with the casual teaching of each other in the process. I'm not knocking fellowship or family but Scripture points to much more than that. It should not be an impersonal institution but rather, a loving and very personal type. There is to be family but there is also to be leadership and submission.
Hi Rojo!What you are saying is absolutely correct. I love the church in all it's expressions from little house churches to large congregations. It was God Himself that gave the fivefold ministries to oversee His flock.
 
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Who said anything about casual teaching? We study on a much deeper level than any church service could possibly provide.
Wow, you seem proud of your humility my friend! LOL!
Seriously, that is a powerful assumption by any standard.
Much love in Christ,
your brother Larry.
 
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