When it comes to bringing together individual organisms & trying to form them into one organization, we run into a bit of a problem; each individual ( person? ) has his or her own interests, likes & dislikes, as well as character & disposition! One 'problem', you might say then, with the modern-day 'church' is that certain individuals have tried to take what was already organized ( brought together ) & form it into their own image, in their own likeness, even though they claim that it's in the likeness of the Creator & His Son, who was Jesus the Christ. We have been formed in the Image of the Creator God & while there are multi-varied opinions about exactly what that means, one thing is sure, what we see in many institutional churches today is most definitely NOT the Image of our Creator; it' a fully-functioning, incorporated ( usually ) business, with all the necessary accoutrements, like W-2s, Payroll, employees & such!
It IS good business to have a good corporate structure, but is this what we're to be about? Is this what Jesus did? Oh, sure, He had a Purpose for everything He did & I'm sure He did everything in a very efficient & orderly fashion ( He was the God-Man, after all! ), but He never told His disciples that they should form individual congregations according to the various doctrinal stances of different people, nor that these congregations should incorporate themselves, conforming to the culture around them, rather than transforming the culture to bear the Image of the Creator God! Rather than simply BEING the Organism that the Creator God has formed us into, we have tried to organize certain individuals into the corporate entities that we know as 'churches'!
Without launching into a lengthy treatise on how individual congregations have capitalized on their pet doctrines, we may suffice it to say that denomiNATIONALISM ( along with certain other 'isms' ) is certainly one of the greatest plagues that has affected the Organism known as the Body of Christ! This is not to say that we, mere human beings CAN effect any change in the Body of Christ ( that's like saying we can change the weather or make the leopard lose his spots ), but we sure have made a mess of things by trying to organize what was already a living, breathing Organism!
Organizations are not inherently a bad thing;it all depends on the reason they were formed & the purpose they serve; some organizations, Mafioso, for example, that are formed with bad intent, are not good things. On the other hand, organizations that were formed for the purpose of protecting a certain thing or people are usually a good thing. The Ku Klux Klan ( KKK ) was originally formed to protect Southern widows & serve the interests of those who had lost their lives or livelihoods in the War between the States. However, good intentions pave the 'highway to hell' they say, & it wasn't long before the KKK became simply another terrorist organization, formed in its own image & serving its own ends! Other corporate entities originally formed with good intent might come to mind here, like the good ole U.S. of A.
'Our God is a God of order', any good Christian will tell you; that's true, just look out at the stars, study the make-up of the universe, the human anatomy, even Nature itself, and it cannot be denied; though seemingly chaotic at times, there is a definite Order to things & what is is most definitely the product ( Creation ) of an Intelligent Designer! The Material Creation has been organized into an intricate symphony for the ages, orchestrated from many living organisms! It is when we who have already been formed into One Living & Breathing Organism try to further organize ourselves into something we were never meant to be that we run into problems!
As the Body of Christ, we ARE One Living & Breathing Organism; we cannot incorporate failed elements & expect to retain the aspects of that which we were formed to be! Our business is to be about our Father's business & that doesn't involve W-2s or employees; it involves Sons & like Jesus said, 'the sons don't pay any taxes'!
Charles Haddon Shank