A View from the Pew: The Church vs. Institution

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AuthorHouse, May 1, 2006 - Religion - 392 pages

The underlying thesis of "A View From The Pew" deals with the institution’s presentation of a god that micro-manages one’s life versus a god that allows a person more personal choices, along with personal responsibility. The institution assumes the role of God’s representative to the congregation and teaches them on a subject by subject basis to live and manifest their Christianity primarily through their attendance and support of the institution and its selected programs.

Those institutions in question promote/emphasize (1) much praying, (2) much congregational praising of God. (3) Manifesting spirituality in their prepared "worship" programs, (4) reliance on God’s constant provision for their protection as well as their every need and/or want, (5) and, acceptance of life’s disappointments as having been allowed or approved by God.

The congregations are admonished to read their Bible, but are taught only selective scripture that supports institutional doctrine. Some of that teaching is purposely taken out of context or misquoted entirely. God is presented only as a one-way street named LOVE. They claim that a true Christian will be an active participant in some local church. They do not want their authority challenged.

Sermons have become less and less specific to audiences of a million different imaginary gods. PC’s gospel of "No absolutes" has hammered specific Bible teachings into the Christian history book. The thrust of those anemic sermons is to console, without offending.

Much of the ongoing ministering to the congregation comes from the group’s ignorance of the Bible and how to live an overcoming Christian life. Dysfunctional families are created and sustained as sheep to be tended by the shepherd called the institution. Many institutions have taken that as their primary role. They light the fires of confusion, then chase around in their "Dear Abby" role trying to put them out. It’s another form of job protection, perpetuated by use of the "mushroom theory."

This book suggests that a "born again" believer and follower of Jesus Christ has been restored to an individual relationship to God the Father, through Jesus. It suggests that that relationship cannot be monitored or censored by men’s doctrines or by a controlling institution, which is nefariously representing Christ’s Church.

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Page 16 - For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Page 192 - Hast thou not known ? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary ? there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint ; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall : but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength ; they shall mount up with wings as eagles ; they shall run, and not be weary; and...
Page 104 - Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these ; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like : of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Page 118 - Christ: in whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Page 71 - And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are : for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Page 71 - Likewise .the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Page 80 - Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy ; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Page 151 - For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God...
Page 211 - Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed : for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Page 39 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

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