Jack Exum Jr posted an update 5 years, 11 months ago
While digging through Dad’s notes and sermons, I found some things which I hope you will find interesting… While not claiming originality, Dad gleaned from the wisdom of others, and saved the next five point and wrote them in his New Testament under the heading of…
“SIGNS OF INSTITUTIONALISM”
1. Emphasis more on the horizontal relationships rather than the vertical relationship with God.
2. Self perpetuating rather than regenerating ((Survival not evangelistic)
3. Loyalty is determined by service given to an institution
4. More concern is given to doctrinal purity than with personal purity.
5. Power is lost, and only the form remains.
I want to add this to the main topic of this discussion, because I found another brief outline of Dad’s which puts the first five points mentioned in a way which may help.
He entitles this, “Five symptoms of a church APPROACHING institutionalism:
A church becomes “INSTITUTIONAL” (One definition I found of “INSTITUTIONAL” is “Characteristic of …being uniform, dull, or unimaginative”)
1. When it’s people relate primarily to “the church” rather than to the Living God and Jesus His Son.
2. When the church is so concerned with its own EXISTENCE (self-perpetuating/self-serving) more than its primary MISSION for which it was formed in the beginning.
3. When the loyalty of the people (person) is DETERMINED SOLELY BY THEIR (outward) SERVICE to the institution.
4. When it is MORE CONCERNED with the correctness of one’s doctrine, than with the quality of one’s life (purity).
5. When the SPIRIT OF CHRIST IS LOST and only the FORM REMAINS.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 Paul says, “Remember this: There are some terrible times coming in the last days. 2 People will love only themselves and money. They will be proud and boast about themselves. They will abuse others with insults. They will not obey their parents. They will be ungrateful and against all that is pleasing to God. 3 They will have no love for others and will refuse to forgive anyone. They will talk about others to hurt them and will have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 People will turn against their friends. They will do foolish things without thinking and will be so proud of themselves. Instead of loving God, they will love pleasure. 5 They will go on pretending to be devoted to God, but they will refuse to let that “devotion” change the way they live. Stay away from these people! (ERV)
Grow in grace!