Consider the Institutional Church. In this very hour, Her problems are so deeply entrenched within the overall religious system that it would need a total renovation from inside out. I tried to do so myself, but it didn’t work.
I started a small, non-denominational church in 1996 , while I was still under the authority of the Denomination called AMEZ. I preached an excellent word and I was a faithful and true pastor. My problem was that I WAS STILL IN THE SYSTEM, TRYING TO POUR NEW WINE INTO OLD SKINS. I looked around at the phonies in my congregation and I said to myself “what up wit DIS?”
I tried new things but they could not escape the system and neither could I. The Laodicean lukewarmness could not be changed. For example, I stopped a passive Wednesday night bible study where I did all the work and the people just sat lethargically in front of me. I taught four bible studies a week, two in the morning and two at night. Even those who faithfully attended each bible study did so merely out of ritual and I started requiring each member to do an independent study based upon the message that they heard the previous Sunday morning. I asked them to prepare what they had learned and “tell ME about it”. Congregants were assigned to prepare questions based upon what they did not understand in the teaching. To say the least, the response of the members was sickeningly lukewarm. After trial and much error, it finally became clear to me that no one really wanted to actually study the word of God for themselves. Their intention was simply to be found in church. No one prepared anything. In fact, they appeared confused and annoyed and by their utter passivity, simply did not even try the assignment because they were too used to being spoon-fed. Undoubtedly, they would have bible study no other way.
This is the reality of trying to change the religious system from inside Her. You will end up with even more apostasy like the Emergent Church. Change without the Holy Ghost is utter chaos. Church leaders will not change their traditional practices. The sinner’s prayer, the invitation to Christian discipleship, the Holy Communion and all the craziness around it will continue. Let us not forget the witchcraft practices of charismatics. Even when church appears to be working, a close examination will find the same endemic problems from church to church, pastor to pastor, member to member. The foundation is basically the same and that foundation is not the true Son of God. The foundation is actually the organization itself.
The church system will not change because it cannot change. As the wine skins are old, God is not pouring in new wine.
The wineskins example reminds me of the worldly premise. How can you expect real change when you keep repeating old behaviors. Yesterday, a woman told me in a phone session that she prayed for 30 years that her two sons would be saved and it did not happen. Hmmmmm. Perhaps her son’s are not chosen for salvation or could it be that praying for someone’s salvation is USELESS? I prayed for 25 years that I would receive an interpretation of my tongues or sent an interpreter. It never happened, needless to say. Hmmmmm. It finally dawned on me once I became undeceived. My tongues are not from God and that is why my prayer was not answered.
Think about this. What are you doing over and over again in your spiritual walk, while you continue to expect different results? Who remains in your life, doing the same things, yet you still have expectations that “a change is gonna come, by and by?”
Relevant Readings: Come Out of Her, God’s People, Faces of the Religious Demon, The Fake Jesus, the New Idolatry and more!