"I would have to agree with another brother who said there is nothing revolutionary about what is said in this article except the part about the institutional church which I disagree with in part. Having read alot of Madame Guyon, Watchman Née, St. John of the Cross early in my fellowship with Christ is what has helped me tremendously."
When a person is born again, they are endowed with spiritual gifts specific to that person. These gifts are not to be suppressed, but rather used to lift up and edify others in corporate meetings of the body (Hebrews 10:24-25). We were not designed to be spare parts in the body of Christ, but each one intricately interwoven into this body to be active and growing, contributing to the overall health of the community. You cannot do that in the position of a spectator - nor will you be inclined to be.
My brother responded to this with:
"I would disagree with the part where you talk about spectators. I would agree there are an abundance of those that do just "sit" there and are content with that, but there are those that don't. Who of which are involved in others lives and so fulfilling there calling as a member of the body and all this while attending an 'iC'."Of course there are those who will participate - to whatever extent the order of service will allow - did not mean to insinuate otherwise. But that order of service and the hierarchy that controls that limits the interaction significantly.... And if Joe Flatt, who can't carry a tune in a bucket, felt led by the Spirit to stand up in the middle of the service and offer up a song of thanksgiving to God and acted on that leading, he would be - more often than not - led out of the meeting until he could control himself and stay within the program.
I have poured over the New Testament for the past 18 months looking for any validation to the modern, western religious version of the church. It is not in there. No pastors, no worship leaders, no youth ministers, no hierarchy - at all. ... Just brothers and sisters coming together as community, meeting the needs of those in their families and communities, supporting mission efforts and living lives that honor God. It worked great for over three hundred years until the Roman government got involved and organized religion. Can God use organized, institutionalized religion? Yes. God used the pharisees and sadducees to accomplish His plan two thousand years ago. Just because a system has been in place for 1700 years does not mean it is right. That does not mean that everyone trapped in this system is evil or wrong - it's just all they know until someone comes along and has the nerve to "tell the emporer he is walking around naked in public". Going against 1700 years of tradition is not a popular thing to do - but if you do your research - look hard into God's word and study the historical facts - you'll find it is the right thing to do. Jesus did it. Peter did it. Paul did it. I'd say I'm in pretty good company. And, I'm not alone.
Yes, there are sincere, devoted followers of Christ amidst the throngs of people who are merely believers in God, but have yet to fall in love with Him. Some of these followers are doing all they know how to, within the confines of the institutional church to serve Him. Others are trapped within the system, blindly following leadership who stand to lose everything if the church returns to meeting as they did in the first three hundred years of existence. These leaders, may have the best intentions at heart and even believe they are serving God by supressing the involvement of the flock. I'm sure the pharisees felt the same way. It's time to stop and listen to what God has to say in HIS word and follow th e Spirit, rather than a man or denomination. It's time to re-introduce Jesus to the world as the Bridegroom who is coming for His pure bride - holy and just and intolerant of sin. It's time to be that which God designed us to be from before the foundation of time and start to fulfill His eternal purpose.