I believe many conventional churches need an overhaul but that doesn't make them any less the Church than a home assembly. Where we gather doesn't make us the Church. Who we are in Christ does when we gather or are alone. Many Christian believers I've met or have become acquainted with outside of the "Conventional Church" often just stay at home and don't fellowship anywhere while angrily spouting scriptures they probably don't keep and can't properly explain. I was recently asked dumb personal questions with false accusations by a self-righteous person with a very religious spirit. I saw the same attitude and mindset in their words that leads to the cults we condemn. They are like many others I've met who think they are more spiritual than those who attend a conventional church, and everyone should listen to them. That's not being spiritual, but being a carnal zealot who believes their way is the only right way, and who never listens to anyone else or considers they may be wrong.
Many don't see the hypocrisy in their views and how divisive they actually are to the Body of Christ. If you don't like the conventional church then don't go. Don't stand outside and throw rocks at those who do or try to falsely accuse others of going because you are befuddled by them or lack the humility to respond in a godly way when they disagree with you. If you are at a conventional church don't condemn other believers in Christ for not attending either. The LORD doesn't live at your church building or is confined to your organizational structure, but is in the people who are the actual Church. I purposely used the term "CONVENTIONAL" instead of "INSTITUTIONAL" to make a point to those who have widely accepted the term "Institutional Church" (or "IC" for short) as the norm and may want to correct me. I'm not a slave to your usage and limited definition of terms that you have accepted or created while you simultaneously condemn others who do the same.
ROMANS 14:4 (KJV); "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand."
Too many supposedly spiritually "liberated" folks major in the minors over terms like "five-fold", "office", and other simple words they are spooked by and condemn which identify or describe things in the scriptures that can be easily explained through proper teaching. They have their own terms like "institutional church" and others they freely use and that many swear are biblical, but can't be found in scripture either verbatim or in principle. Whether you are at a conventional church or a home assembly the same standards for Christian conduct still apply as well as God ordained order and leadership. The benefits of good godly leadership as defined and performed according to the scriptures in Ephesians 4:11-15 is clearly seen in the teaching or lack thereof exposed by many in the various available forums of communication when they begin speaking. They only agree with and support those who agree with them, and always believe something that is not in scripture or is spooky and extra-biblical outside of the scriptures. Many want to teach but can never accept being taught because they desire preeminence and are afraid of not only the word but the biblical concept of "SUBMISSION".
ACTS 7:51 (KJV); "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye."
In order to be a student or learn you have to be willing to submit to a teacher or teaching. Many won't do that, yet they are always trying to teach others. Merely mentioning submission starts the fear mongering and foolish conspiracy machinations that I or someone else wants to rule them. The scriptures say we are to submit to one another in Ephesians 5:21, to obey leadership in Hebrews 13:17, and submit to godly elders (meaning both the aged & spiritual leaders) as well as to one another in 1st Peter 5:5. How can you justify disobeying the Word of GOD and teaching others the same by rejecting this and creating your own false doctrines to satisfy your personal bias? Some of the very scriptures you use to justify your position disagree with you! If we're not careful we'll do the same things many left the conventional church because of, and create another system of control with a new guise. Nobody should ever demand or pursue our submission but we should be humble enough to submit instead of letting our egos get in the way of our learning. I have no problem with submission and learned what I know because I submitted to instruction in order to learn. Folks that don't understand that get offended by me and call me arrogant when they can't handle my reasoning from the Holy Scriptures.
LUKE 21:13-15 (KJV); "And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 14) Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15) For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist."
You can't truly submit and be arrogant because they are opposing concepts to one another. Folks who accuse me of arrogance never consider they are too proud to listen and the problem is with them versus those like myself. Too many folks don't attach themselves to anything but condemn everything and go on "witch hunts" and "pagan purges" with insults and name calling because they can't answer solid scriptural rebuttals to their twisting of scriptures to suit their narrow views just like many of the false preachers and conventional churches they condemn. This is stubbornness and pride rooted in the ungodliness of the flesh, and not some liberated revelation in the Spirit. Folks should just admit they believe in God but don't like going to Church gatherings or care for leadership; especially if it is a conventional church setting. That would be more honest than acting super spiritual and becoming the very thing you oppose. DON'T BE A HYPOCRITE! Right is right, wrong is wrong, and hypocrisy is hypocrisy no matter whose doing it. You don't get a special exception because you choose not to attend a conventional church or because you do. Shalom. ~ I.J. West
ACTS 6:10 (ESV); "But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking."