From a reader here regarding the letter from Darryl describing his experience at the hands of Living "University."
Darryl, you have witnessed and experienced life in an organization that has degenerated into cultic institutionalism, spawned by typical bureaucratic dysfunction mated with the peculiar COG aristocracy of the ministry. Many here will argue that it always has exhibited this characteristic, which may be true, but you can at least see that LCG has suffered increasing corruption since the Global Church of God days when Roderick C. Meredith wrote the booklet WhenShould You Follow Church Government?
Consider the following from Gene Getz in his book, Sharpening The Focus Of The Church (p. 252), which gives the following "symptoms" of institutionalism, (and in the case of LCG it is "cultic institutionalism" when combined with the pervasive theology of supreme apostolic authority held by the ministry):
1-- The organization (the form and structure) becomes more important than the people who make up the organization.
2-- Individuals begin to function in the organization more like cogs in a machine.
3-- Individuality and creativity are lost in the structural mass.
4-- The atmosphere in the organization becomes threatening rather than open and free; people are often afraid to ask uncomfortable questions.
5-- The structural arrangements in the organization have become rigid and inflexible.
6-- People are serving the organization more than the objectives for which the organization was brought into existence. In other words, means have become ends.
7-- Communication often breaks down, particularly because of a repressive atmosphere and lots of red tape.
8-- People become prisoners of their procedures. The "policy manual" and the "rule book" get bigger, and fresh ideas are few and far between.
9-- In order to survive in a cold structure, people develop their own special interests within the organization, creating competitive departments and divisions. The corporate objective gives way to a multitude of unrelated objectives which, inevitably, results in lack of unity in the organization as a whole.
10-- Morale degenerates and people lose their initiative; they become discouraged and often critical of the organization and of others in the organization--particularly its leaders.
11-- As the organization gets bigger and as time passes, the process of institutionalization often speeds up. A hierarchy of leadership develops, increasing the problems of communication from the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top. People toward the bottom, or even in the middle of the organizational structure, feel more and more as if they "really don't count" in the organization.7
When these symptoms are present cultic institutionalism has already "progressed" into its advanced stages.