The Institutional Mindsets

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AidaC
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The Institutional Mindsets

Post by AidaC »

Recently, as I watched a highly institutionalized friend, I was thinking about how much easier it is to get the person out of the institution than it is to get the institution out of the person. When we’ve been institutionalized for long periods of time, we develop mindsets that are not easily changed. So, even if we leave the institution, the institution follows us.

Once in place, those mindsets are not easily overcome so that’s why it was necessary for me to go through a detox period which was one of the most difficult times of my life as a believer. I was straddling two worlds and, at the time, I described it as feeling like I was walking and the ground was moving under my feet. As difficult as that time was, however, it was a normal and very necessary stage of my journey to freedom. When I was struggling with those feelings of disorientation, the desire to go back was strong and that’s when I had to choose to persistently move forward. I had to make a choice. I could choose freedom or the emotional security that the institution had offered. I couldn't have both and, since I continually chose freedom, the journey got easier over time.

I’m still amazed at how deeply rooted those mindsets became. One of the mindsets that I still struggle with at times is the feeling that I’m not doing enough. The freedom "to just be" still feels strange at times. Wayne Jacobsen described it as the tentacles of religion and I think that’s a very appropriate description. To experience greater freedom, those tentacles have had to be cut one at a time because, even now, when I least expect it, one of them will occasionally pop up. Now, however, I’m more inclined to recognize them and, when I do, I’m free to either choose to follow that mindset or more forward into a greater level of freedom.
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eagle77
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Re: The Institutional Mindsets

Post by eagle77 »

So true. It is a difficult and almost impossible to reach people ingrained in the organized church religious system. God has to reach us to the point where we realize something is not right, and then the individual decides to either ignore that prompting - or take a further look into things. I think most people like convincing themselves that they are spiritual and following leaders in the man-made church system tells them just that. They are told that being a good Christian requires entering the temple made of hands, sitting in the pews and trading in Jesus authority for a man-made leader. And of course, the pivotal hallmark of a Christian is to give money to this leader’s organization so that he or she can make a living teaching God’s Word.

The institutional church tells us if we do A, B, and C, than we are doing what God wants us to do. It is actually an easier road to take, and it gives us a false since of security. That's what church leaders want. I’ve been there - I wanted to believe that by engaging in these behaviors, it was what God wanted. But in all honesty, I have to say I have always felt like something was not right. Not in the Catholic Church or the Protestant Church. But because I felt pressure to attend, I went ahead anyway. It is hard to enter the mindset that church is who we are, and not something we attend. And when we realize how futile our religious habits are, and that these things are for man and not for God, the freedom Jesus intended becomes more evident in our lives. And I agree wholeheartedly, a person struggling with this will eventually have to make a choice.

At times , I also feel like I am not doing enough, but that is a man-made concept because the things I did in the past was not about pleasing God, it was about pleasing men. God never needed me to do those things the IC required, nor did He want me to. I think living a life in truth, is the best thing a believer can do for God. Standing up for the truth is not easy – for me it has been the hardest part of breaking free from the man-made church system. Being judged for not participating in the institutional church system for me has been brutal, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the organized church has no Biblical basis. Now, that does not mean, that all the people in it are bad, there are a lot of good people who are held captive and are followers of man. But as far as me feeling like I’m not doing enough regarding religious habits that the IC required from me, it no longer exists. If anything, I keep asking God to forgive me for following men instead of Him.
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AidaC
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Re: The Institutional Mindsets

Post by AidaC »

eagle77 wrote: It is actually an easier road to take, and it gives us a false since of security.
You are so right. Especially at the beginning, living as a free believer isn’t always easy. It involves many choices and sometimes we have to make those choices with nothing to guide us except our heart. When we’re used to someone telling us what to do, that new freedom can be a challenge to get used to but once we do, there’s no better way in my opinion.

I’m actually busy enough. I’m doing quite a bit but it’s different from what I once did. When I feel like I’m not doing enough, I remind myself of all that I’m doing and that I don’t need to add on anything else just for the sake of doing something.
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eagle77
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Re: The Institutional Mindsets

Post by eagle77 »

AidaC wrote:When we’re used to someone telling us what to do, that new freedom can be a challenge to get used to but once we do, there’s no better way in my opinion.
I completely agree. I could never go back into the bondage of the IC, and have a man-made system govern me and my relationship with God. I'm truly sadden to see so many people still living under the law, and who are under the power of church leaders. My family is constantly dropping barbs and innuendos still - I can only hope one day they will come to accept me as I am. I personally, don't believe they will ever break free from the law and the IC - they don't want to. They like the system too much - and more importantly, like how it makes them feel. And in all fairness, the institutional mindset is a very difficult thing to break from. But I accept the price Jesus paid for us, and choose to walk in freedom. I will not become enslaved again to that system.
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Re: The Institutional Mindsets

Post by brettact2 »

The thoughts you are expressing happen to follow a God-designed Scriptural pattern. When God brought Israel out of Egypt He performed a series of acts that coalesced as the Passover motif. Later when God brought them out of the desert & into the Promised land He did it at Passover time, and repeated at least 12 of the acts He did when He brought Israel out of Egypt. Why? The same reason they spent 40 yrs in the desert instead of 1 year - they were still Egyptians. The Egyptian slave generations had to die & their wilderness children had to inherit the Promise. But even they had to 'come out' of their wilderness nomadic mindset to enter into a Promise life where God supplies everything to them in an 'it is finished' condition. The children had to face the same issues their parents failed to address. The generation born in the wild had to relinquish their parents slavery worldview that they were nourished & raised with. They still needed a baptism resurrection into the newness of life in God. The journey never changes.
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Re: The Institutional Mindsets

Post by radio roswell »

I believe mindsets are the fruit of a deeper unconscious condition of human being to be enslaved to a false identity. I struggle with this because I am human nit be used of any personality disorder or trait. Learned behavior does enhance it but there is deep idea of belonging into community that creates havens for institutional or collective idea sharing.

This is why once the notion of a true self devoid of false identity entices me out of my unconcious state it feels like the world is exploding. The old nature is very much alive in that it desires to be in charge again. The purpose of the old nature is one of everyday duties and responsibilities but my false impression of myself elevates these past my spiritual being.

In that state it easy to understand why I always feel a desire to be doing more spiritually , emotionally and physically.

Jesus told us to "be still and know that I am God." I have met very very very few people who actually understand this concept. I suspect it also goes hand in hand with " be anxious for nothing ". Not the expect nothing but to actually be anxiuos for " nothing" as in no thoughts or doing and understand that this is the truest form of exsistence.

It's extremely difficult to do that with year and decades of conditional ideas from the world it takes patience and practice. And the second part is even harder in that there is a lonely feeling in purist of this and we wish we could be understood and even expect it from those around us. It is hardly the case. I must find strength in the process of giving from it to those around me to go on in it's diligence of teaching.

It is no longer a mystery to me why folks remain in a mindset or institutional idea about God.
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eagle77
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Re: The Institutional Mindsets

Post by eagle77 »

brettact2 wrote:The journey never changes.
So true. As you mentioned in the Old Testament, our nature or mindset is so resistant to anything that is unfamiliar; especially where religious traditions are concerned. There is an element of comfort and false sense of spiritual security when we convince ourselves (and of course with the aid of church leaders), that by following them we are doing all what God desires us to do.
radio roswell wrote:It's extremely difficult to do that with year and decades of conditional ideas from the world it takes patience and practice. And the second part is even harder in that there is a lonely feeling in purist of this and we wish we could be understood and even expect it from those around us. It is hardly the case. I must find strength in the process of giving from it to those around me to go on in it's diligence of teaching.
You expressed exactly how I feel. I find myself feeling very alienated and lonely at times because really there is no one I know personally who feel as I do in the area where I live. It is hard for me to concede to the fact that others can not see what has happened. Part of the problem is that people with this mindset are not willing to hear you out. Even when you tell them you have a Biblical basis for what you are saying, their fear of letting go of their love for this system take over. And in many case, church leaders tell them don't listen to anyone with different views - Satan will come in and whisk you away. But I do become very frustrated at times, and really my expectations are not realistic. I need to find a better way to deal with it.
radio roswell wrote:Jesus told us to "be still and know that I am God." I have met very very very few people who actually understand this concept. I suspect it also goes hand in hand with " be anxious for nothing ". Not the expect nothing but to actually be anxiuos for " nothing" as in no thoughts or doing and understand that this is the truest form of exsistence.
And on many levels, the IC teaches just the opposite of what Jesus says. It says do this, say that, pay this, come this day, etc. All of these things require actions on our part, as if God needs us to do specific things to please Him or move on our behalf. These things are futile because they are about pleasing God on man-made terms. It really is tantamount to rejecting the freedom He provided us.
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Re: The Institutional Mindsets

Post by brettact2 »

"If We're Honest"

Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
I'm a mess and so are you
We've built walls nobody can get through
Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do

[Chorus:]
Bring your brokenness, and I'll bring mine
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy's waiting on the other side
If we're honest
If we're honest

Don't pretend to be something that you're not
Living life afraid of getting caught
There is freedom found when we lay
our secrets down at the cross, at the cross

[Chorus]

It would change our lives
It would set us free
It's what we need to be

[Chorus]

Francesca Battistelli
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AidaC
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Re: The Institutional Mindsets

Post by AidaC »

eagle77 wrote:I find myself feeling very alienated and lonely at times because really there is no one I know personally who feel as I do in the area where I live. It is hard for me to concede to the fact that others can not see what has happened. Part of the problem is that people with this mindset are not willing to hear you out.
I think when we leave the religious system, it’s as if we’ve gone into another world where everything is different although it was once very familiar. We truly have become new people and everything has changed for us but not necessarily for those around us. As a result, it’s now very difficult to relate to them and them to us but I try to remind myself that I was also there once.
brettact2 wrote: Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
So very true, Brett. It’s easier to hold onto the familiar even if it’s destroying us.
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
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