CLOSING REMARKS and ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12
We are all by nature, so slow to fully accept anything that is contrary to our present beliefs, even if those beliefs are false. Once we have been programmed with a belief, be it true or false, we will act as if it is true! We then instinctively seek to collect facts to support that belief no matter how false it might be!
No one will be able to convince us otherwise unless by and through the aid of the Spirit of God Himself, we will then study and be READY to change.
We all like to believe we are brave and will stubbornly deny that we are cowardly. But in reality, the opposite of bravery is acquiescence or conformity. The brave person never invests in another human being or a group of human beings or an institution (passed off as the body of Christ) with power to speak to him for God. To be brave is to seek God's will without the intimidations so commonly used today in many “churches.”
Truth has nothing to fear by probing, discussion, and debate. Only orthodoxy is threatened by such exercise. The promise still stands that knowing the truth will set us free.
All throughout time, God has carried the Truth forward one person at a time, or two at a time, or a small group at a time. A study of church history will demonstrate that adequately. Thank the Lord indeed that for many today, the experiences of the local, institutionalized church system are coming to an end as the True Ecclesia of God, the community of true believers, withdraws more and more from this man-made system and its godless hierarchical structure, to rekindle a direct relationship with their Father in heaven through the one Mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus the Lord. (1 Timothy 2:5).
Make no mistake about it though; God does indeed have a membership. Oh yes He does! But that membership is UNTO HIM, not to some corporate, institutional structure that people can go to once a week. Such structures and activities are contrived by the depraved minds of men.
When Jesus calls us into His Membership, He is not calling us to weekend duty. He demands our life and intellect. He expects us to turn our backs on all rivals, pick up our cross and die upon it daily if necessary.
Can you just imagine the Lord Jesus Christ going to the state to seek papers of incorporation and a tax free status?
No such entity recognizes "the voice of the True Shepherd" who alone is the Head of His own un-institutionalized and un-incorporated body.
So we come to the end of our study. What we have been examining in this article are the fruits of a "local church institution." Its members are the product of an anti-biblical, unscriptural system that feeds off of human pride and a lust for control. They have commandeered what God gave through His Son, a simple, direct, unencumbered relationship with Him, and have fashioned unto themselves their idol, their golden calf: "The Local Church Institution."
But even as Isaiah cried, "Lord, who has believed our report?" (Isaiah 53:1; Rom. 10:16), even so, who has believed us? Yes, who?
Have you believed this report that has just been given to you? It is almost frightening to see how few professing Christians truly believe and understand God’s Scriptures, and how fewer yet, obey them!
Christ's sheep have been corralled, mistreated and imprisoned by thieves and robbers for many, many centuries. The feelings, the thoughts, and the questionings of the average “Christian church member” today are, in some respect, really no different from what we’ve seen in Tyndale’s day (Back on page 1).
The typical, average Christian back then had the same stirrings of the soul but had no way of proving or disproving their suspicions concerning church because of the same fear that was instilled in them by their “overseers” too! If they did speak up, their lives would be endangered by the very institution that claimed to "care for them."
The word "heretic" kept them silent, for everyone knew the result - burning at the stake.
Today, the results are somewhat different, but the principles and the practices are so similar.
Still confined, still abused and still anesthetized with that hollow, far-away look in their eyes, many Christians today have viewed the Father’s greener pastures from afar. Beyond the walls of the institutional/organized sheep pen, the green pastures beckon, but...BUT, they must not go forth!
“Church authorities” have done everything to insure that “freedom,” True Freedom as revealed in the Scriptures, is never realized in the heart of institutionalized church members.
Consequently, they will be regularly reminded of the meetings and the stories told, like urban legends told around a campfire, of the supposed “uncertain fate” of those that left and never returned, and the horrors of the many and “mysterious dangers” lurking beyond the institutional walls. Warned of the rebellion of feeding outside the confines of the organized/institutional sheep pen, and handed yet another stale “Pastoral” biscuit to chew on, they withdraw back and languish away, somehow convinced it is their duty to do so.
Freedom has been once again successfully strangled by the “church authorities” all because the heart in which it dwells naturally longs for it.
What a sad and pathetic state of affairs. It has been said that many Institutional church members today are likened to caged animals at the zoo. Many Christians settle into their "cages" week after week, sitting in their pews, not even knowing what’s really going on. Calm and quiet, with their hollow, far-away look in their eyes, there they stay; tricked into believing that this is what’s best for them; that this is what their Creator’s plan has been for them all along. So they quietly sit; slothfully satisfied in their captivity. The thought of having to "hunt for their own food" sounds too much like work. Many wouldn't even know where to begin. The "zoo" has made life easy for them. Why leave? The "zoo" has convinced them that THEIR CAGE IS FREEDOM!
And this is what we call "church!" Capturing a group of Christians; herding them in the same "building" and saying,
"Look.....We’re God's Institution....We are Christians assembled together for worship and fellowship under the Authority of Christ!" It's a lie! It always will be a lie! Many just assemble upon command without having the slightest clue of what Christ and His Ecclesia is all about.
Until a Christian is free from an organized/institutional church system and planned religion, he or she will never really know what it means to be a Christian.
This Distortion; this Deformity; this doping of the mind is perhaps the most heartbreaking of all. Many in the “church” today are indeed likened to these caged animals at the zoo. With one difference. Those at the zoo are watched over, cared for, and are treated like human beings.
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