After being a single pastor for so long, I looked forward to being able to take my wife to a presbytery meeting in Knoxville, Tn. When it was over I asked her what she thought. She answered that it seemed like a meeting of the communist party( she had seen many of these in her native Russia).
I sadly agreed, because the committee reports and the camp news were very similar, and the Holy Spirit was about as active there as he was in the communist party get-togethers. There was a thin veneer of civility, but the communists had mellowed into humanitarians by the times my wife as old enough to watch the party at work. They and their successors did get the Bible read in public classrooms, which is much better than presbyteries and other Christian groups have done in the USA.
About 100years ago, a veryGodly student began to attend Knox College, a Presbyterian seminary in Toronto, Canada. Even so long ago he was mocked and ridiculed for his poverty and his piety. The students were for the.most part rich and arrogant, and therefore felt at home in the churches they pastored after they graduated from seminary. But after Jonathan Goforth became a famous missionary to China, to their great credit, many of the students later apologized for their earlier abuse.
So the good news is that although we as humans are plagued by arrogance and pride, sometimes the Holy Spirit breaks through to convict us of our sins until we either begin to follow Jesus Christ for the first time, or more deeply. I and many others seemed to be lost causes to the casual observer. But we should never forget that God is always at work(even in regional church bodies???). He has the last word, and not a single person would ever love or obey him without supernatural intervention.
No one naturally follows Jesus Christ sincerely because of a more refined character. We may be more refined and sophisticated than our neighbors or family members, but we are not more elevated than the Germans saw themselves to be in the 1930’s They worshipped Hitler en masse, led by the universities and by pastors like those who abused the Godly Jonathan Goforth. When the unemployment there reached 30% (it is 25% now in Greece), even the pretence of Christianity was abandoned in favor of hatred.
Congregations or church bodies that do business like the communist party will have less and less impact on society or individuals. Christianity has always advanced through repentance, salvation, and holiness as defined by the Bible. It runs counter to many of my inclinations, and to yours also. Historic Christianity now and always confronts us with supernatural demands we cannot fulfill without the supernatural living within us.
Committees or church camps are not evil in and of themselves, but they are more than a waste of time- they are positively harmful unless those who run them are Godly individuals, praying to honor Jesus Christ as the name above all names. None of us do that well. But all of us are responsible to try, to ask forgiveness when we fail to do that, and to pray to do that better.