• IS THE CHURCH AN INSTITUTION
  • was commonly used in the church
  • In Acts 20 ..

and function as a community to exist and function like an institution

Lesson 11: Why Is The Church Important? (1 Timothy 3…

Why did Jesus institute the church

The First History of the Church (The Acts of the …
In all instances where the word "ekklesia" appeared, if it was in a religious connection or had to do with the Lord's people, the word "church" was substituted. Hence, in Acts 19 the three times the word appears it has no reference to the Lord's disciples and the word "assembly" is given as a true translation. This egregious error of substituting the word "church" rather than providing a proper translation has been a source of untold problems giving apparent justification for the institutional church as we know it today, from the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran Church, Presbyterian Church, Baptist Church, Church of God, Church of England, and such like on down to the Church of Christ and the Christian Church. These are all religious institutions/organizations or churches, something foreign to the divine record. The "Assemblies of God" is a far more scriptural name than any of the above.

The "CHURCH" of the Bible

In fact, I’d argue that by making the church smaller, less formal, less organized, less institutionalized and more like the chaos of a family structure, the church would be moving MORE toward the historical church in ACTS and less like a culture-formed institution by deconstructing itself.
It was some time before the ceremony and ritualism in the Church of Christ began to register on me. Maybe it was because I was caught up in the responsibility I felt to "be prepared" each week with two sermons and a Bible class lesson. Maybe it was because we like the comfort zone of our own little rut (do you notice how people tend to sit in their "own" pew every assembly?), and we fight change. Depending on what part of the country you are from, every Sunday's ritual included "the five acts of worship": announcements, two songs, a prayer, a song, another song to "prepare our minds," the Lord's Supper, the collection, the sermon, an invitation song, closing remarks, closing song, and a closing prayer. Finally, it dawned on me - this is ceremony and ritualism. This is another form of what we had in the Catholic Church.

 

Why I Don’t Go to Church Very Often, a Follow Up Blog

Church of England, and such like on down to the Church of Christ and ..
In fact, I’d argue that by making the church smaller, less formal, less organized, less institutionalized and more like the chaos of a family structure, the church would be moving MORE toward the historical church in ACTS and less like a culture-formed institution by deconstructing itself. Though I hardly consider that a God-given decree. Again, I believe we can make it what we want (within God-given parameters) and share agency with God in positively impacting the world.

Why I Don’t Go to Church Very ..
This legacy still remains with us today. The needs of people are subordinated to the maintenance of religious bureaucracy. Patterns of church government often have nothing to do with the ethos of the New Testament. Many define the 'true' church in terms of outward marks such as "the proper preaching of the Word, administration of the sacraments, and practice of discipline". But these characteristics have been outwardly present in dead churches. The New Testament defines the church dynamically in terms of functioning together as a body. If church was defined, for example, in the organic terminology of Acts 2:42-47, how many churches would you find? Why is it that even today when somebody asks "What church do you attend?:, the next query after you tell them is usually, "Who is the pastor there?" We still tend to define church in terms of leadership instead of by loving relationships among the brethren.


the image of the dominant institution in society

Your church likely looks nothing like the church in the book of Acts, which, was not much of a prescription on how to do church anyway. There are some marching orders in the book, but there aren’t many. Mostly those direct instructions are about choosing elders and deacons and dividing up each others money so that it’s shared. But that’s mostly it.