………You see, the institutional “church” may not be perfect, but no matter what it is, it is a rightful authority, don’t forget this. This is the foundation of DeYoung’s argument. That is, if it is not the present institutional setting, it is not a “church,” and therefore it is not a rightful authority. He doesn’t say what exactly makes his institutional “church” a real church. He just assumes it. “We are the real church, guys, the real authority, and these others are anti-church.”
He doesn’t allow for the thought that perhaps his institution is not properly the Church of Jesus Christ. He doesn’t allow for the existence of the thousands of people who are leaving his institutional system and are taking the church with them, to start it anew, because false shepherds like DeYoung have corrupted it. He calls their exodus “immaturity,” and he doesn’t allow for the possibility that it is exactly the immaturity created by himself and his own class of “ministry” swindlers that is driving these people out. In short, DeYoung’s argument would have condemned Luther. It leaves no place for reforming the church without its present leadership and its institutional system. Indulgences all the way, folks!
The truth is opposite to what DeYoung says. These people who are leaving his “institutional religion” are not leaving the church. DeYoung and his “ministerial” buddies are not the church and have never been the church, and have no more authority to speak for the church than Johann Eck had in 1521. DeYoung’s “revolutionaries” are not leaving the church, they are taking it with them. They are the Shekinah-Glory cloud leaving the Temple in AD 60 and going to the Mount of Olives where there was no building nor structure, but where the last prayer of the true Lord of the Church was pronounced in His earthly body. Their leaving leaves DeYoung churchless, left alone with a mass of people he prefers to have around him: faceless, passive, apathetic, willing to hear the same empty useless “sermons” every week, willing to go through the same senseless ceremonial motions every week, people perfectly content to leave the world exactly the way they found it, in the same darkness, injustice, ignorance, and abortion rate as it was when they joined the “church.” Or even worse, who cares. That’s life, as DeYoung says. Such people who are willing to leave the things as they are do not have the Holy Spirit. A person baptized in the Holy Spirit is not a person who yearns for the same thing over and over again every day, the same useless rituals, the same useless sermons, the same useless church programs, the same useless session meetings, the same useless lobbyist rallies. A man baptized in the Holy Spirit is a man baptized in fire. Fire can mean many things, but whatever it symbolizes, it certainly doesn’t symbolize DeYoung’s boring, static, passive, complacent state of vegetating. If these people are the “authentic community” DeYoung wants, then he doesn’t want a community powered by the Holy Spirit. Thus, he doesn’t want a church.
The people DeYoung inveighs against are not starting a revolution. They are stopping it.
They are acting as a counter-revolutionary force. The revolution has already happened, in the last one century. It was the revolution that killed the real church – the church that was a covenant community, and was taking the world by storm. That was the revolution that brought to power in the church the same ministry-industrial complex of celebrities and professional fund-raisers that DeYoung is now part of. That ministry-industrial complex is the usurper; and DeYoung, as a part of it, is a usurper too. He needs to go. All of his buddies need to go. The pulpits must be purged of this illegal brood of vipers which has kept the church on milk and hot air – mostly hot air – for over 50 years. The fruit of that ministry-industrial complex is obvious in America in the last several decades: there’s barely an aspect of the American society that hasn’t been affected by the victorious march of neo-paganism. And that’s not because paganism is powerful. It is because the church members have been passive and incompetent and pessimistic and immature. And why are they so? Because of DeYoung’s institutional system. The fruit clearly reveals the root. There is no way that a true church would turn a previously Christian culture into a pagan culture. The true church does the other way around. When a system – like the one DeYoung defends – has absorbed billions of dollars only to produce defeat, then this system is a counterfeit church. It’s time for it to go. The people leaving it are only trying to stop the breakdown, not to cause one.
DeYoung’s system has only preached milk for decades. Yes, the same milk that the author of Hebrews tells us to leave behind and move on (Heb. 5:11-6:2). And what is DeYoung’s solution to the problems with people leaving his so-called “church”? More appreciation of the same milk.
It’s possible we no longer find joy in so great a salvation. It’s possible that our boredom has less to do with the church, its doctrines, or its poor leadership and more to do with our unwillingness to tolerate imperfection in others and our own coldness to the same old message about Christ’s death and resurrection.
In other words, people are leaving because they do not appreciate their milk anymore. No wonder. Those who have the Holy Spirit want to move on from being permanently excited about childish things to working as mature men. May be they want to do something about that message, not just hear about it from the pulpit and experience sweet meltdowns over it. When an institution continues offering only milk – in opposition to Hebrews 6:1-2 – it is clear that institution is not a church.