A View from the Pew: The Church vs. Institution
The underlying thesis of "A View From The Pew" deals with the institution’s presentation of a god that micro-manages one’s life versus a god that allows a person more personal choices, along with personal responsibility. The institution assumes the role of God’s representative to the congregation and teaches them on a subject by subject basis to live and manifest their Christianity primarily through their attendance and support of the institution and its selected programs.
Those institutions in question promote/emphasize (1) much praying, (2) much congregational praising of God. (3) Manifesting spirituality in their prepared "worship" programs, (4) reliance on God’s constant provision for their protection as well as their every need and/or want, (5) and, acceptance of life’s disappointments as having been allowed or approved by God.
The congregations are admonished to read their Bible, but are taught only selective scripture that supports institutional doctrine. Some of that teaching is purposely taken out of context or misquoted entirely. God is presented only as a one-way street named LOVE. They claim that a true Christian will be an active participant in some local church. They do not want their authority challenged.
Sermons have become less and less specific to audiences of a million different imaginary gods. PC’s gospel of "No absolutes" has hammered specific Bible teachings into the Christian history book. The thrust of those anemic sermons is to console, without offending.
Much of the ongoing ministering to the congregation comes from the group’s ignorance of the Bible and how to live an overcoming Christian life. Dysfunctional families are created and sustained as sheep to be tended by the shepherd called the institution. Many institutions have taken that as their primary role. They light the fires of confusion, then chase around in their "Dear Abby" role trying to put them out. It’s another form of job protection, perpetuated by use of the "mushroom theory."
This book suggests that a "born again" believer and follower of Jesus Christ has been restored to an individual relationship to God the Father, through Jesus. It suggests that that relationship cannot be monitored or censored by men’s doctrines or by a controlling institution, which is nefariously representing Christ’s Church.