Credo #74: The building is not the Body

Posted: November 30, 2009 in Credo, For brothers

British management theorist Cyril Parkinson is responsible for giving us “Parkinson’s Law“, a useful meme for recognizing the expansion of a bureaucracy to the limits imposed upon it by outside factors such as budgets. I offer that tidbit to you at no additional cost as a warm-up for this:

….It is worth reminding yourself every time you go into the building which houses the fellowship that the building is not the Body. Human nature being what it is, we must always be reminded of this. You have no biblical command — let alone biblical permission — to see an institution or a structure as something else than what it is — an institution or a structure.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t help with the building fund. I’m jus’ saying: Look out for institutional inertia. Watch for it in your own life.

  1. […] If you have come out of established Christianity of one sort or the other as a child; you may have been impregnated,so to speak; through and through with a kind of legalistic urgency about matters of faith as they were understood so by those who raised you or who taught you – or both. The meta-theme that gets impressed into your thinking is something like “God is significant, and so other things are not.” When a college mega-ministry that has since collapsed was committing acts of spiritual tyranny by telling its members things like “language study is temporal, but bible study is eternal” they were exhibiting an extreme example of this kind of behavior. A church that boots you for asking questions about tithing rather than answering your questions honestly and resting in this does the same; as would be a church that sends you away for not complying with a church mandated “courtship” scheme in which various elders presume to speak for who should be spending time with whom. By their actions they are essentially letting the cat out of the bag: That they want your relationship to be with the “body” – i.e. their ministry — rather than with Christ. […]

  2. Jake says:

    institutional inertia…Nice way of putting it~!

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