All who have been birthed by the Spirit of God have been given a code, to use computer jargon. Functioning like spiritual DNA, this code determines who we are to be and what we are to do. This code makes us an original. We are un-duplicatable.
Jesus, in John 3, spoke of us who are born of the Wind of the Spirit. He says that like our Parent or Sire, the Wind, no one knows where we are coming from or where we are going. We are undefinable. One cannot pigeonhole us. Like trying to grasp moving air, it can’t be done. We are round pegs that do not fit into anyone’s square holes.
Enter the Christian institution…
After forty literal years of wandering in the wilderness of Christian institutions, it has been our observation that they attempt to overwrite our code. This overwriting is a malicious code. It is fraught with viruses. Its origin is in the “steal, kill, and destroy” of John 10:10. Its goal is the theft of our God-given originality and free spirit.
Christian institutions seek to decide for us what our gifting is. Some employ tools used in the corporate world to do so. Personality and spiritual gift inventories are given which supposedly indicate what our bent is. Once assessed with these tools, we may now wear what amounts to an invisible tee shirt or badge of our job description. To a large degree, this assessment relegates or pigeonholes us into a restricted role in their organization. Organizations cannot tolerate much originally. There are jobs to do and slots to fill.
This flies in the face of the fact that we are wind. We have our Daddy’s DNA. Various facets of us and our giftings will manifest at different times, places, and venues. It will not always look the same. While we may be prophetic at one moment, we may manifest mercy the next. Far be it that a secular test “sanctified” by a Christian organization should be the basis for an assessment of who and what we are.
What is preached from the pulpit and written in the self help books of the Christian institutional world will also seek to overwrite our code. We are what we eat. If our diet consists of listening to several hours a week of sermon material from the pulpit, radio, or books instead of time spent listening directly to what the Father says about us, we will be increasingly squeezed into the mold of the institution.
Any desire on our part to imitate and conform for acceptance sake will accelerate this overwriting process. We will abandon who we are, compromising for the sake of conformity. Choosing to follow the path of least resistance creates less friction, criticism, and confrontation. Our peers and our hierarchy will be pleased. The handlers that we report to will be impressed and recommend us for the next rung on the ladder.
This is the law of the corporate jungle. Conform or be eaten. Be assimilated or be destroyed. The Christian institution behaves like a corporation. It is not an exception to the rule but actually proves the rule.
What is a child of the Wind to do about all of this? How can we firewall and protect our Spirit-given code? Can we possibly avoid the Christian institution’s relentless violation and comprise of who we really are?
No…if we remain in the institution.
Our motives may be noble. Determining to remain part of the institution in the hopes of changing it, we become changed, altered, mutated. It is a slow but steady process. It begs the illustration of the frog and pot. Before we realize it, we have become another casualty of institutional compromise.
It is our conviction that Christian institutions were never God’s idea for spiritual growth. From the inception of the ekklesia, gatherings were meant to be organic, spontaneous, and unscripted. They were never meant to be tethered to curriculum and program.
If we decide to leave the institution, we are not leaving God. God never was the institution. We may actually find the opposite to be true.
In the leaving, there will be the finding.
We will find God. We will find our Father.
“Come out from among them…and I will be a Father to you”
2 Cor 6:17, 18
Dan and Debbie Murrill
“Typing computer screen reflection” by Almonroth – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Typing_computer_screen_reflection.jpg#/media/File:Typing_computer_screen_reflection.jpg