Being out of the Institutional Church (IC) for 4+ years (to date), I’ve run into 4 kinds of people:
1. Left the IC, but the IC is still in them
- Mockery of the real saints
- Calling our form of Christianity “radical”
- Claiming that it’s impossible to live without sin
- Claiming that we can’t love like Jesus Christ
- Running a home church group with the same crap that goes on in the IC:
control, manipulation, domination, works gospel and the lack of love
2. Left the IC, but caught up in the truth
These people are too busy blogging, making videos, and talking about the error of the false church. While the bible calls us to expose darkness (Eph 5:11), these people never examine and expose the darkness within themselves (2 Corinthians 13:5–6).
- They fall into the trap of self comparison with others more wicked than themselves.
- They fall into the trap of thinking, because they have the correct doctrine, they have eternal life.
- It’s easy to point the finger at the false church while missing yourself.
- It’s easy to know the truth of the book, but forget to know the One who is the embodiment of truth through an intimate, continual and personal relationship.
The real truth is: We are not judged by the wickedness of others. We’re judged by our own deeds done in our own bodies (2 Cor 5:10). Second: God calls us to know him and have a relationship with him — this is eternal life (John 17:3) — not mere knowledge of the truth. Knowledge of the scriptures will not grant us eternal life, this is the same problem the religious leaders had in Jesus’ time (John 5:39–40).
3. Left the IC, but are really just rebellious
These are people who never really went to church, who never really wanted to follow God and is using the error of the institutional church as an excuse to forsake fellowship with the real Jesus Christ and his saints. These people are probably not born again.
4. Left the IC and are followers of Christ
- Born again
- Loving (they exhibit the character of Christ)
- Seeking fellowship with Jesus and the saints
- Concerned about the sin in one own’s life
- Focused on Christ Jesus as their daily Lord and Savior