Thursday, July 14, 2016

Done But Still Orthodox

I'm done. You may be as well.

I'm done with institutional Christianity. While I remain good friends with many who attend institutional churches, I have no need or desire for institutional trappings such as worship services, expensive buildings, and salaried pastors.

Although I'm done, I remain orthodox in my beliefs about who God is, what He has done, and what He expects of us. I believe the bible is fully and completely true.

I'm writing this particular post because many who are done with the institution are also done with orthodox beliefs. If you spend any time reading around the Christian blogosphere you will come across many claiming the name of Christ who hold some wacked-out (unbiblical) beliefs about a lot of things. It appears that a good number of folks who leave the institution do so because they don't like some of the orthodox teachings they have heard.

One big issue is homosexuality. Many Dones reject what the bible blatantly teaches on this issue (hint: it's sinful). Therefore, they have departed from the institution. Other Dones don't approve of the exclusivity of the Gospel, as if God needs to bow to these folks' politically correct desires. Still others left because they reject scriptural teachings regarding women's roles in the church.

Based on what I have read, I believe the majority of Dones have become done because they cannot stomach orthodoxy. This is extremely ironic; they are rejecting something unbiblical (the institution), but are doing so for unbiblical reasons.

I reject the institution for biblical reasons. We've been shown in scripture what the church should look like and how it ought to function. That's the church I want to be a part of. It's too bad that the church for the most part is shackled by institutional traditions.

To sum up, I'm not like the majority of the Dones. While they rejected orthodoxy, I embrace it. I hope you do as well.

14 comments:

Arthur Sido said...

I sadly think you are right, this is a phenomena I have writen about a few times under the umbrella of "Throwing out the theological baby with the institutional bathwater". It seems that a lot of the "Dones" are so disenchanted with institutional Christianity that they will welcome with open arms anyone else who speaks out against the unbiblical/extra-biblical practices of institutional Christianity even if they are also complete heretics on other issues. This is doubly bad because it makes it easy for defenders of institutionalism to lump everyone who questions institutional practices into the same boat and easily discredits the entire movement.

Peter Horvatin said...

Eric,

Thank you for standing for the truth. The only way is to follow the truth of the word. Keep up the good work. I have missed not seeing your blog posts but I can understand after seeing the picture of your grandbaby. Thanks Again, Pete

Eric said...

Arthur,

It amazes me how quickly so many "Christians" are willing to give up on core doctrines of the faith. My guess is that it is connected to the post-modern, me-first culture we live in. These folks are rejecting orthodoxy and don't seem to care. It is sad and stunning at the same time.

Eric said...

Peter,

Life has certainly been busy with a little one around. But what a joy it is! As for the church, I've come to the conclusion that I'll do what I can to foster relationships with other believers, but will not compromise principles found in scripture. As we know, it is often a lonely road.

Kevin said...

I've been feeling the same tension. I love our simple, in-home church, but there are still some institutional trappings that many are not willing to give up or have not even considered changing. I want to do more of the things the early church did: help widows and meet real needs and show a supernatural love for one another.

Eric said...

Kevin,

Thanks for commenting. Institutional trappings are certainly powerful things. I'm sure I still do some non-biblical things just because that's the way I grew up. As for you, I encourage you to do some of the things you are talking about and invite others within your church family to help. If you are already doing this then I commend you!

Unknown said...

Eric: An interesting post. I do think that you have pointed out a problem with the “dones”. But I think that there is a bigger picture. Every group of “refugees” is always a mixed-bag of people with different motives. I think that there are still plenty of people who are leaving the traditional church and looking for life. I think that most of the people you are seeing are the few who just like to trumpet their own ideas. The internet gives them plenty of opportunity and the autonomy found in the house church movement gives them a background which they can exploit to give “legitimacy” to their refusal to submit to either human or divine authority. So, although I think they are the minority, I think that they sound like the majority. Someone who writes a blog encouraging people to live quiet and godly lives is not going to attract the attention of someone who pushes the envelope and tickles ears.

Eric said...

Unknown,

My blog policy is to not post comments that are anonymous. However, I have not stated this in a while so I'll go ahead and post what you have said. If you would please leave your name in another comment that would be great.

Regarding what you stated here, I can only say that I hope you are correct. I suppose there is no way to truly know. What I do know is that I have seen a troubling amount of very poor theology amongst many who have left the institutional church. Of course, there remains a lot of poor theology within the institution as well.

Gunnar said...

Eric:

This isn't a post. I am just trying to respond to what you just said.

I didn't try to be anonymous. I left my name when I registered, I think under the limited registration in Blogger? To be honest, I don't know. I don't do Google+ and that seemed the only other option. My name is Gunnar Armstrong. I'm in Elkton, MD.

If you can tell me how to be "unanonymous" I will probably gladly do it.

Gunnar

Eric said...

Gunnar,

Thanks! This time your comment has your name Gunnar on it. Whatever you did seems to have worked. In the future if you have problems feel free to just write your first name in the post itself. I only have my comment policy because some people have left some fairly crazy anonymous comments in the past. Since your comment was a good one I figured it had something to do with Blogger, logging in, etc.

Paul G said...

Hi Eric, I'm Paul, I also can see the problem with the institutional church and their practice.
The Lord Jesus has called me out from that institution to be separate lest I partake of their sins. By that I mean, if I stayed there, I would adopt their practice.

Also, I am challenging some of their orthodox doctrines.
It is reasonable to say that, if their church practices are not scriptural then their doctrines would also not be scriptural.

Eric said...

Paul,

Thank you for commenting. Our best practice as believers is to hold up every doctrine and practice to the light of scripture. Whatever is biblical we keep; whatever is unbiblical we jettison. Of course, this is often an uncomfortable thing to do, especially when we find that things we like personally have no scriptural warrant.

I encourage you to keep looking to scripture and asking the Holy Spirit to guide you as you do so. Additionally, I hope you have some brothers and sisters in Christ who you can share this with.

God bless!

Aussie John said...

Eric,

Done, but theologically orthodox! Amen!

Eric said...

Thanks John!