Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's Not So Much About "Institutional" vs. "Organic"

I've been following for several years now websites that have to do with ecclesiology, namely with the differences between the traditional/institutional church model and the house/simple/organic church model.  Supporters of each idea have their own warnings about the other and their own bible proof texts, etc., and argue for their own way of "doing church."  I appreciate the dialog, monologue and exchange.  Even the flames and sarcasm.

But even though I do see the house/simple/organic folks' ideas and arguments in the bible and I don't see the traditional/institutional folks' ideas and arguments in the bible, I don't see the ultimate argument as one of institutional vs. organic.  What I do believe is foremost is whether a church accomplishes what churches are supposed to do.  For example, the "one-anothers" of the bible.  Even though I see one-anothers being employed in the church assembly (i.e. 1 Cor. 11-14 and Heb. 10), they certainly aren't limited to when the church assembles together.  And even though I don't see passivity in listening to sermons during a "worship service" without any one-anothers during the assembly in the pages of the bible, I would rather attend a traditional/institutional church that has the one-anothers right in all other areas of church than attend a house/simple/organic church that doesn't.


  1. Absolutely correct. It is about function not form. Granted some forms are more conducive than others but ultimately if the church is functioning as it should, that is the key.

  2. Good post! Wholeheartedly agree. How we 'do' church is matter of adiaphora, something not necessarily essential to the faith, but nevertheless as permissible for Christians or allowed in church.

    I am one of those who spent some time away from church. My family and I ended up leaving church for about 3 years... I was 'burned out,' so to speak. Didn't have words to explain why I disliked it so much... but I did. I went through this time where I hated anything 'Institutional.' The local churches I had attended didn't really reflect Christ at all.

    I have determined, though, as your post states, that it has nothing to do with whether or not the Church is Institutional or Organic. It has everything to do with whether or not we are trusting Christ and Him crucified for our sins. Most of the teaching within the Church at large is that of legalism. Again- in the IC or the Organic.

    It is not form that matters... and it really isn't how we function, either... It is a matter of what and Who is being proclaimed. Is it Christ and His work on the cross, or what being taught what we can or ought to be doing? And, to me, that is the dichotomy I am finding in the Church. Are we trusting on what, how, and why we do things? Or are we simply trusting Jesus and His finished work on the cross? The story of the Scriptures is Christ. Not us and what we are to do. It is what He has done. How we are dead in our sins and trespasses, but have been redeemed by His work.

    Thanks for the post. Blessings!