Ive written a lot on this web site about the institutional church system and how I feel about it. I have no idea what you readers have to say about it, so Ill ask you some questions here and you can answer them to yourself to your own satisfaction and bring some clarity and understanding to your own thinking.
Im assuming, of course, that you really want to be honest with yourself. You really do, dont you? Remember Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)?
There are reasons why you abuse and why you allow yourself to be abused. Some of those reasons can be found as being from physical causes, some are from emotional triggers and others are spiritual tactics being used against you. The list of articles at the end of this article shed much light on these factors.
What do your really think about the institutional church system at your local church?
How do you feel when you compare your experiences there with what the Bible says about when and where the first century believers assembled together?
How do you feel about the people or person who claim the label of leaders or leader for themselves?
Do you understand the concepts of elder, pastor, bishop, overseer, shepherd?
Do you understand that they are all
one and the same? And that those words in the Greek all denote functionality and not titles?
My purpose in posing these questions to those who name the name of Christ is to bring focus to the fact that you continue to allow yourself to be abused, or to abuse, by documented manipulative and intimidating tactics that continue to control human behavior. This has been going on in the institutional church system for over 1,700 years.
Isnt it time to get real and be all that you can be in Jesus Christ by following the teachings recorded in the Bible for our benefit?
How do you feel about the one-man rule in your church as compared to the plurality of the elder/pastor/bishop/overseer/shepherd function modeled in the New Testament?
Do you have a difficult time in making a decision as to how to answer those questions and prefer to accept what your church leader or leaders have to say about it?
Is it easier to simply repeat what that person or persons say about those matters and then let it seem like thats how you feel about it?
Are you afraid to take the risk to say why and what you really feel about those topics according to what the Bible says?
Are you uncertain about what your fellow members and your leader or leaders may say or do if you are honest, open and transparent in voicing your own personal ideas?
How will you handle those differences of ideas and opinions and any resulting conflict that arises if you speak out from your heart instead of repeating what they say?
Does that make you feel that you arent really in control of what happens in your life and that somehow your personal freedom is being violated?
Does that affect your own feelings of self-worth and make you feel that you cant really be self reliant in matters pertaining to your relationship with Jesus Christ?
How does that affect your feelings of responsibility for you and your familys welfare and happiness?
Do you feel sometimes that you and your family are wearing a mask during the time you are at your church and that as soon as you leave there and are in more comfortable surroundings where you and your family can be yourselves, that you can safely remove your masks?
Why is it that while you have your masks off in familiar and comfortable surroundings that you, your family, your non-church friends, co-workers, even strangers sometimes have conflicts but while at church with your masks on, there are no conflicts?
Why do you feel that you are somehow psychologically separated from both the clergy and the laity during the time you are physically at your church?
Do you find it difficult to think for yourself instead of taking risks and thinking out what you are told at church? Since it isnt difficult for you to make decisions in other areas of your life, why is it a problem when it comes to things you are taught at your local church?
Are you afraid to state your position, especially when you are certain of your scriptural references? Are you simply attempting to avoid controversy over these topics?
Are you afraid of alienating the other members and the leader or leaders and setting a negative tone?
Are you afraid that you will somehow be punished for speaking out for what you know to be Bible truth? Are you really afraid to think for yourself?
Are you afraid you will make a mistake and then be blamed for it when you know that your understanding of biblical issues is far more comprehensive that what you are hearing being taught?
Do you really think the leader or leaders have you and your families best interests at heart as the motivational reasons why they say and do the things that they do? Things that you know in your spirit are not right?
Since youve been involved in the institutional church system how much have you grown in your spirit? In your emotions? In your critical and creative thinking?
Why is it that your leader or leaders are always right and you are always wrong?
Why do you feel so guilty even simply thinking about the answer to the above questions?
Do you have any limits or boundaries as to how far this situation will progress?
Are you afraid that you and your family will be rejected by other members of the congregation and the leadership because you dont agree with what they are saying and doing and teaching others to say and do?
How do you really feel about the commitment you made to your local church when you signed up to become a member there?
Whats your gut reaction to some favors or concessions youve been asked to grant by their leadership after having been manipulated to do so?
Remember the first few times you started attending your church and you werent really sure how to behave? But you picked up on the behavior of prominent others and then started doing what they were doing? Then developed some friendships with others that were like you and then refined your behavior to more closely match theirs? The question here is: How do you feel about yourself when you compare your initial behavior at church with how its changed to how you behave now?
Why do you confuse prominent popular and attractive people that the leadership spotlights at church, some with money, some with influence, as exemplary Christians with true biblical disciples of Jesus Christ, i.e., learners, followers, supporters and imitators of Jesus?
Why do you mistake the symbols of conferred or self-labeled titles, expensive automobiles, expensive and fashionable clothing and claims of characteristics such as supernatural knowledge withheld by God from others, supernatural power and a special calling from God as being symbols of spiritual authority when the person obviously has no legitimate credentials, expertise or truthfulness to validate their claim of being a spiritual authority?
Why do you buy into the propaganda that your church is the only one that has Gods true message to mankind and without the exclusivity of being a member of your church those who arent members or members who leave are condemned as being less of a Christian than those that stay?
Do you understand that you are being grossly intimidated and manipulated and have given every bit of your personal power and control away to somebody else in order that they can live a lifestyle far above any of the people there?
A last question: What are you going to do about it now?
If you call yourself Reverend, Pastor, Bishop, Elder or any other title including that of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist or Teacher, here are some questions for you to answer to yourself to your own satisfaction in the hope that it may bring some clarity and understanding to your own thinking.
Why do you make people commit their loyalty, time, money and talents to you and your organization by joining your church and then make them feel guilty if they later change their mind?
Why do you manipulate the people at your church by utilizing the practice of offering what appears to be a favor or a concession to them to get them to return equal or greater favors or concessions?
Why do you act one way when in public view and encourage others to model their behavior after your public presentations of yourself and then you are a totally different person in your private life?
Why do you pro-actively court the attractive people, the moneyed people and the influential people to win their friendship and support and then hold them up as exemplary models of the Christian life when you know you didnt pick them out to showcase their Christianity, and that it was their good looks, their money and their influence that you are publicly recognizing because you want their continued friendship and the support of their money and influence?
Why do you consciously select symbols of authority such as expensive homes, expensive automobiles, expensive clothing and self-imposed titles and claim for yourself characteristics such as Godly supernatural knowledge withheld from others, supernatural power and a special calling from God to impress the people at your church with the fact that you are a spiritual authority figure in some counterfeit authoritarian structure?
Why do you promote your church as being the only one that has Gods true message to mankind and without the exclusivity of being a member of your church those who arent members or members who leave are condemned as being less of a Christian than those that stay?
How can you make people disciples of Jesus Christ when you only preach at them in a one-way communication system for an hour or so every week?
Do you really think that your unbiblical altar call makes disciples of Jesus Christ out of people?
What will you tell Jesus on that day when you stand before Him about the money you conned and cheated people out of by a pseudo-tithemoney that did not go to the fatherless, widows, travelers in the land and those who are truly called, chosen, gifted and anointed by God to speak, practice and teach His mind and counsel and eternal purpose?
Why dont you follow Pauls example as a tentmaker, and get a real job to support yourself and your family?
What makes you so special that people are going to pay you for allegedly representing Jesus to them?
Why do you usurp Jesus Christs role as mediator between God and man?
Do you know that in the Greek the word anti means both in place of and against and that in attempting to take the place of Christ you are actually antichrist?
Why are you afraid to exchange meaningful dialog with the people at your church?
Are you afraid that theyll find out that you dont know it all, and that you, also, are a frail, flawed and imperfect human being, just like the rest of us?
A last question: What are you going to do about it now?
There are reasons why you abuse and why you allow yourself to be abused. Some of those reasons can be found as being from physical causes, some are from artifically established social situations, some are from emotional triggers and others are spiritual tactics being used against you. The following list of articles shed much light on these factors:
The Dance of Abuse, by Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D., is an informative article concerning unbalanced biochemistry, sugar sensitivity, beta-endorphins, serotonin and how to balance your system so you can avoid the unwanted behavior of abused and abuser. While the article addresses the issue of domestic violence and abuse, the core teachings are of tremendous value for those who abuse and those who are abused and who want to quit doing so.
God, Creator of time, the universe, space, energy, matter and life is an on-site article discussing God as Creator of time, the universe, space, energy, matter and life, and originator of supernatural miracles on this earth for our awe, admiration, worship and praise of God. Within the scope of discussion of the article the point is made that supernatural gifts of God are often confused with our natural abilities and learned skills and how a migraine aura involves neurological or neuropsychological processes, producing symptoms which may be mistaken for psychic and/or paranormal abilities and experiences. Among these are precognition, visual hallucinations and illusions, feeling larger or smaller (macro- and microsomatognosia), felt presences, out of body experiences, déjà vu and jamais vu (paramnesias), hallucinating odors or smells, synaesthesiaexperiencing abnormal perceptual sensations, e.g., seeing colors with letters, sounds, or words; experiencing shapes with tastes, or smells with sounds, or seeing auras around certain people, language disorder (aphasia), forced reminiscence or incontinent nostalgia in which a rush of long-forgotten memories or dreams resurfaces, tinnitus, dream disturbances and astral projection.
When these natural phenomenon occur and are mistaken for supernatural gifts and/or abilities, individuals may fool themselves and many others by claiming a special and unscriptural position with God.
Evil abuse by good people in authority in prison and church provides information on the now classic Stanford Prisoner Experiment of 1971, which demonstrated how normal, well-adjusted good people rapidly progressed to an abusive, inhumane and sadistic mindset in just a few days. It also contains information from the November 26, 2004 issue of Science on abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq by Princeton University psychologists who ... drew their conclusions from 25,000 studies involving 8 million participants, which explain how factors, ranging from the stress of war to the expectations of superiors, can combine to cause ordinary people to commit seemingly inexplicable acts. The article draws a parallel between evil abuse by good people in authority in prison and church and how the power of destructive guards and authoritarian figures control the institutional behavior of human and spiritual prisoners.
Personal Power Of Christ Or Corporate Power?-An Open Letter, discusses the unscriptural and illegal corporate power of the abusive institutional church system and how those who are abused in that system suffer identifiable psychological syndromes which are subconsciously used as a defense and survival mechanism which guarantees their continued abuse.
Free In Christ!-we are free to love one another in Christ is a reminder of our freedom in Christ to love one another as God loves His church, and our freedom to be families meeting for the purpose of Holy Spirit liberty for an abundant life in Christ. Included in that article is a discussion of how churches utilize professional people to install lighting and sound systems to induce altered states of consciousness and guaranteeing that will increase tithes, offerings and attendance as it robs individuals of their ability to correctly perceive, analyze and interpret what is happening to them.
These articles will help you to identify and deal with the Jezebel spirit of control which currently runs rampant throughout the institutional church system:
Jezebel Spirit Controlling Institutional Church People Jezebel spirit is controlling institutional church people's spirits-an abusive cult manipulation in authoritarian churches by false authority of human purpose to get money from the people of God to maintain authoritarian control and manipulation for the purpose of self-aggrandizement, a better lifestyle than those that give them their money, and power.
Jezebel spirit, false prophets, idolatry and witchcraft The Historical and Contemporary Jezebel SpiritJezebel spirit, false prophets, idolatry and witchcraft worship satan, kill prophets of the true Israel and people of God but Jesus will kill Jezebel.
Recognizing Intimidation and Manipulation-others control you You give others control over you as you depend on them and their authority for facts. They use manipulation and intimidation for domination and your dependency.
The Danger of Self-Centeredness-the Jezebel spirit of self Prophet of God, a Jezebel spirit of self centeredness is destroying the character, credibility and conscience of the prophetic ministeruse your spiritual gift of discerning of spirits so you arent destroyed.
This article will help to give a broad overview of how the institutional church system parallels the apostasy of the Jews throughout history:
God by the Spirit of Jesus Christ will build an assembly God by the Spirit of Jesus Christ will build an assembly of the true spiritual house of Israel by truth of His Holy word in love with people of faith
A well-researched article explaining how and why the Old Testament tithe simply cannot be applied to New Testament believers:
The Old Testament Tithe And New Testament Giving-give to God? The tithe of God under the law was His will for the poor, fatherless, widows, strangers in the land and those truly called, chosen, gifted and anointed to be His bondservants. New Testament giving encompasses greater sacrifices than money from you to God.
All of these articles, plus many more can be found on the Site Map page.