How do you institutionalize a friendship?

Or a relationship? Just say you have 20 good Christian friends: How do you institutionalize that set of friendships so that those 20 people can identify themselves as an institutional church? Can spiritual fellowship and love be institutionalized? Can friendship?

Why do some people have Christian friends, and yet they don’t consider their fellowship with them as being church? Then, what is the “magical ingredient” which transforms fellowship into “church”?

3 Responses to “How do you institutionalize a friendship?”

  1. ian vincent Says:

    The Church most definitely is a very real spiritual institution: instituted, built and maintained by Jesus Christ, Himself, so it is far more than a mere human institution.

    Think of the Church as a set of relationships, and that Jesus, Himself, forms, institutes and maintains those relationships – how the members of His body are joined to one another.

    Therefore, a non-relational “christian institution” is not one that is instituted by Christ (See Rev. 17)

    You know, Scripturally, the only thing that can legitimately separate TRUE Christians? It’s geography – that you don’t live close enough to fellowship.

    That is the ONLY Bible reason not to fellowship with another, who is a genuine Christian. (the Bible does say don’t fellowship with unrepentant Christians)

    But the human institutions have a long list of reasons other than this.


    Part of my calling is to simply call God’s people TO THINK about what they’re doing, and understand what they’re doing, and to try and see things thru the eyes of Jesus, as He sees from heaven, from His perspective. The Word is the heavenly perspective.

    A merely human institution will see the Church from man’s perspective (man’s agenda). The spiritual institution sees the Church from heaven’s perspective, and orders things accordingly.

  2. Al Nelson Says:

    Excellent perspective and rhetorical questions brother! I really like the way you brought that out. For as long as I have tried to explain the apostasy of such institutions, I don’t think I have been able to put it in such a plain perspective. Praise the Lord for this!

    Reblogged this on lastdaysoftheage.

  3. ian vincent Says:

    Thanks bro.

    The Kingdom of God, and mans kingdoms, are not the same thing, but they do intersect, so that the kingdoms of men have some small something of the Kingdom of God in them.

    That is, we can’t say that there is nothing of the Kingdom of God in the kingdoms (institutions) of men, but we can say that they do not faithfully represent the Kingdom of God, neither could they, as their natures are so different, and that God never intended that man-made kingdoms could represent His Kingdom.

    And Jesus calls His people out of the kingdoms of men.

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