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

Characteristics:

  • 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

Characteristics:

  • 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
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2 Comments

  1. I have pastored churches in 4 states over the past 20 years and have recently determined that my struggles are with trying to be something (pastor of an IC) God doesn’t want me to be…I enjoyed your article for the most part, I guess what bothers me most is it appears that you question a persons salvation by their behavior more that I do, but a do clearly see carnality. I do agree with the 4 people and see myself as being some of all of those….I have been in the IC all my life so i’m sure there are some old thoughts and habits that exist but for the most part I see the vanity and resist them….a period of religious-detox is to be expected I would think. I also see where I have become somewhat judgmental toward the IC, not wanting to be, but in sincerity I know it’s there. I guess #3 is the guy I am not in any way. I am not using my understanding of the IC to be an excuse to not enjoy fellowship in the body or Christ Life. #4 describes me best but #1 and #2 exist in some areas too. I would love to chat with you more. Please let me know how we can talk further. I am still pastoring a church and want to know my chances of leading this fellowship toward becoming a more Natural Christ led fellowship or am I asking for trouble.