The family vs. the institution
This essay is worth reading: http://2or3.homestead.com/files/fam.html.
Here's a snippet:
- THE INSTITUTION VS. THE FAMILY
By George Davis
- The word paradigm speaks of any mindset received by tradition and social conditioning which shapes our private and world view. At one time the world was thought to be flat, having boundaries, and the fear of sailing off the edge of the earth plagued the seafaring minds of sailors young and old alike. In spite of the fact that the earth in truth is a sphere, in their minds it was flat, and their emotions and actions reflected accordingly. The power of truth, cannot be understated here, for as we perceive, so we will act. "As a man thinketh so is he". This applies to every area of life, including our view of Christ's church. Herein is the contrast of two paradigms, one is mans, the other is Gods. One is institutional, the other is family.
The institutional church paradigm is characterized by hyper-organization. In spite of all the talk about God, and His power, it is none the less a man-centered, man-dominated, and man-powered monarchism. In direct contrast, the family paradigm, is organic and relational. An institution is an entity in itself, and will accordingly save itself, even at the cost of its own members. Conversely, Within the family each member would gladly lay down their lives for each other. There are many institutions (denominations) but only one family. Division is characteristic of institutional christendom. But the family of God is one....