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"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16
In response to a question here, I suspect the proponents for the transitional method, though understand that the Institutional Church (IC) structure is not all that perfect (and I don't think groups that meet outside the IC would consider their groups as perfect either), may still intend to preserve the structure to a certain degree. If that's the case, then it's more about reforming the IC structure and aligning it to the biblical principles. In this aspect, the proponents of the revolutional method correctly understand that the IC structure, no matter how much one refines it, it can never meet the mark precisely because the IC structure itself is one of the hindrances.

So I guess that the proponents of the transitional method have to be very clear that they are not in the IC to facilitate the improvement of structure (to a more biblical one), but facilitating the change in the way the saints in the IC look at the issue and ultimately abandoning the IC structure. It is or should be about influencing people within that structure, rather than making further improvement to the structure so as to sustain it. With this ultimate objective in mind, it is then not a transitional vs revolutional issue, but a question on how both methods can be complementary to each other in the longer term.

Though I would also question the practical aspects of the transitional method (i.e. what to do with the building and worship services, how to re-organise during the transitional period etc), especially after looking at the cell churches. They appear to be a likely candidate for the transitional model, yet there seem to be more status quo than change in my opinion. I feel it's also important for the transitional method facilitator to be part of an organic community at the same time when facilitating the change in the IC, if possible. On the other hand, one of the challenges ahead for the revolutional method really lies in not compromising on "the" biblical form of church structure, yet avoiding elitism, sectarianism, being exclusive and trying to maintain contacts with the IC (even attending their services occasionally) & the saints in IC. It started to sound impossible? But by being an exemplary model, His people will naturally be drawn and inclined to it.

As for the argument against the revolutional method being divisive, it is not really an unique problem that the revolutional method alone faced. But it is in fact a common problem for all forms of church structure, especially the institutional ones where stakes are generally higher. Having said that, organic forms of churches are not spared from this particular thorn either. As long as there is a group of people, there will always be a potential problem of being divided, either physically or in spirit. Or depending on how you see it, it could well be an opportunity for growth. It is, however, not a valid argument against the revolutionary method.

So, what would Jesus do? I think He is more than willing to work within and without the IC structure, among His people so He would obtain His beautiful Bride at the end of that day. Though we should not adopt a pragmatic approach, sometimes, we are just too stuck in our mindset of "the" method or model. Thank God, He is bigger than that. :)

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