Christian Young, a young christian, was learning the ways and means of ‘the way it is’ within evangelicalism. Much of what he learned was good. And much not good, even harmful.
Much of the bad stuff was communicated to brother Young non-verbally. (Some suggest we learn more non-verbally than verbally.) He soon realized there was a list of unwritten rules to be honored. No problem, thinketh Christian Young, I have lived by rules my entire life. I can do this.
Faithfulness to rules will eventually bring from elder peers appreciation and acceptance, treasures Christian Young always craved. Unfaithfulness, he sensed, will certainly arouse suspicion and threaten those treasures. And so Christian’s christianity became rules and more rules….
church service sunday 10:00 am, never miss…. wednesday evening Bible study…. 1st of the month men’s groups…. volunteer for this and that and whatever…. be a team player….
10% of income to church (gross, not net)…. smile, even when grumpy…. always address ‘the man’ as Pastor…. never challenge ‘the way it is’…. keep the unity….
no independence…. submit to authority…. opinions are unwanted…. no spiritual ministry without Pastor’s approval…. consider church your spiritual family….
pay taxes, every cent…. no dirty jokes…. work hard…. be honest in business…. no more R-rated movies…. and on and on.
Christian’s confidence in church leadership grew large. When reflecting on the Bible, he managed to dodge seeming discrepancies between The Word and ‘the way it is’, and in time compromise came with ease. Perhaps one day he would be nominated for the board of elders.
Incrementally, there was a transfer of loyalty from Bible to church leadership, though never fully. Lordship of Christian Young was shared between Jesus and church.
In time, Christian swallowed the two-tiered (ministerial-laymen) system, church authority, and denominationalism. When he accepted church membership his self-esteem swelled, and was now fully accepted by licensed controllers (conditional, of course, on continued rule-keeping).
Another competent officer and ambassador for evangelicalism is being forged by competent officers and ambassadors of evangelicalism.