As an institution, the church has become so laughable that many Christians have found better things to do on Sunday mornings! There are so many different denominations, and they all believe that their doctrine is the correct one, that you might find yourself hard-pressed to see a big difference between its members and the local motorcycle club or gang!
The Israelite nation that we read about in the hallowed pages of the Bible, particularly in the book of Kings, was so similar to what we see happening in much of the world today, especially in America, that one is almost tempted to make a comparison of the two, and to forecast the same end for America! America, just like the institutional church, if she even survives the coming cataclysm, will never be the same again, and do you know why? Because this is God's Kingdom, this is God's Church ( His People ), and He rules the nations with a rod of iron!
Empires rise and fall at His command!
The Church, or Body of Christ can never be divided!
Here is where the nation of Israel went wrong; they thought that, since God had made them His special people, a nation of priests, that they should keep themselves separate from the other nations forever, and instead of being priests to the nations and spreading abroad the knowledge of their Creator, they thought to keep Him all to themselves, and thus, through their own perversions, rather than priests, became a laughing-stock!
The institutional church today, not necessarily the Body of Christ, has made much the same mistake. If one is not within the fold of some institutional church, or does not live within the confines of some written code, then that one is seen as heretic, and without the Kingdom! He may be brought within its confines, but only if he subscribes to said written code ( in one form or another ), and hunkers down inside the four walls of some church building every Sunday ( and maybe Wednesday )!
As the Body of Christ however, the Church will never and can never be divided! According to the purpose and foreknowledge of Almighty God, our Creator, there are members of this Body within the institutional church, and I daresay even that there are institutional churches which are largely made up of members of the Body of Christ! We must remember though, and I believe this is one of the church's ( and Church's ) gravest mistakes; we are priests to the nations, the healing waters, the leaves of the Tree of Life that flow to the nations; if we simply hunker down and hold the fort, we will lose!
Only as we realize, turn and repent as a Body Politic, will we have the Desired Effect on His Creation, only when we recognize the spirituality of God's nation of priests will we begin to heal the nations through shining His Light, as 'a city on a hill'!
May we realize this truth, that we are not a divided Kingdom, but one Body, and One Tree of Life!
Charles Haddon Shank