God’s Institutions and Their Roles on Earth (2024)

God’s Institutions and Their Roles on Earth (1)

The Scriptures teach that God designed five institutions to establish order on the earth—institutions that have precise roles, responsibilities, and objectives that are unique to each of them.

Each institution is to fulfill the purposes it was assigned by God to achieve. It follows that each institution is woefully inefficient and ineffective when it tries to achieve the purposes of another. Recent events bear this out as we experience the calamitous effects of the institution of commerce trying to moralize a culture! Businesses have been using their products and services not to fulfill consumer want or need as they should, but rather, as platforms to force unpopular and radical anti-biblical agendas upon the public. But it’s not gone well for them.

One such company is CNN which recently rolled out CNN+. This streaming service was a repackaging of theirultra-radical and biased newscasts and anti-biblical shows such as “Parental Guidance with Anderson Cooper,” that features an openly gay man whose two sons were born out of wedlock. The rollout cost CNN $500 million, but CNN+ was canceled within the first month due to lack of consumer interest.

Netflix is another example. Offering families what some critics are describing as “rampant child p*rn-styled shows, the racially charged anti-white programs, and the rampant push for openly encouraging transgendered and hom*osexuality as the norm,”1Netflix has been losing customers in droves and has become the “worst performing stock of 2022 in the S&P 500.”2

Twitter banned conservative voices and dispatched armies of “fact checkers” whose job was to promote radical policies. They boosted certain stories and hid others such as the well-documented Hunter Biden laptop political kickback scandal. One ultra-wealthy American had enough. Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, bought Twitter for $44 billion and vowed to make it a platform for free speech.

In recent years, Disney has pushed an anti-biblical agenda in exposing children to aberrant sexual lifestyles and presenting them as normal in their cartoon movies.3Disney executives now vow to make 50 percent of Disney cartoon characters LGBTQ or racial minorities by the end of 2022.4Doubling down, Disney executives vowed to fight a Florida law that would prohibit teachers from instructing kindergarten through third grade students on “sexual orientation” or “gender identification.” In response, the Florida Legislature passed a bill to dissolve Disney’s authority to self-govern which obliterated decades-old tax breaks. Investors responded to the news that Disney will now pay much more in Florida taxes. Disney stock, which had been at an all-time high in March 2021, tanked. In January, business reporters disclosed that Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) stock fell 43.9% in 2022.

The recent, huge phenomena in American business serves to illustrate how things go sideways real fast when an offending institution attempts to usurp another institution’s area of calling and expertise.

This week we look at the five institutions that were created by God and revealed in the Bible, and especially the role that God meant for government. This study will provide tremendous insight. It will provide you with great and immediate discernment and a keen perspective that will inform your judgment on most policy issues.

Read on, my friend.

God’s Institutions and Their Roles on Earth (2)
Ralph Drollinger

This is a basic and necessary Bible study for every officeholder. As a matter of fact, it is such an important Bible study that my objective is to teach you how to teach this to others. You should be able to preach this in a church or teach what follows in a small group. My prayer is that God will use this not only to equip you, but to serve others with great wisdom.

Since God is sovereign and omnipotent, how does He reign in the world today between the first and second advents of His Son, Jesus Christ? The Scriptures provide the answer; He mediates His reign through His ordination of five institutions during this present period of biblical history: the church age. Another way of stating this concept is to refer to it as the administration of God as referred to in 1 Timothy 1:4:

Nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.

In a personal illustration of this concept, the Apostle Paul informs his understudy Timothy not to be diverted from furthering the administration of God (in this case via the particular institution of the church). In Luke 16:2, this same English wordadministration(which is the underlying Greek rootoikonomiaas used in the above passage) is translated as “management” and “manager,” respectively:

And he called him and said to him, “What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.”

Further, in 1 Corinthians 4:1, this same root word is translated as “stewards”:

Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Oikosis the Greek word for “house,” andnomosthe word for “manager.” “Economist” is the closest English derivative—notice that phonetically it is nearly a transliteration. This word is a historic reference to one who manages the affairs of a household. As we will see, this word is used in other biblical passages to indicate how God manages His relationship to the world at a given time. In Ephesians 3:2 (here in the context of the institution of the church), notice what the Apostle Paul says about himself:

If indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you.

Paul viewed himself as asteward(oikonomia) of God’s grace which was given to him by God for us. As a public servant, albeit you are assigned to a different God-ordained institution, His institution of the state:

You must view yourself in the same light. As a good administrator of government, you must be a good manager, a good steward of this particular institution.

Still, another English equivalent (as used in the New American Standard Bible translation) is the noundispensation, best understood through its English verbal equivalent as “to dispense.” How then does the sovereign,omnipotent God of the universe—as declared in and by Scripture—administrate, manage, steward, or dispense His reign in a fallen world today, one fractured by sin, in His physical absence? The answer is via His ordained institutions, the church and state being just two of five.

Now, and very importantly, let’s go a step further in unfolding this big concept. The Apostle Peter is instructing early Christians regarding the institution of the state in 1 Peter 2:13–15. The context of the passage that follows pertains to believers having a good witness with the leaders of the state. He says, therefore, that the following must be present:

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him…. For such is the will of God.

The main verb or action of this God-given command is tosubmit, or subjugate (in Greek,hupotasso), meaning “to place oneself under” the institution of the state in this case. But more broadly, notice Peter includes the wordevery, meaning every other [God-ordained] institution. It follows then, that whenever and wherever the Greek wordhupotassoexists in the New Testament, that it might be in reference to identifying the existence of a God-ordained institution. But what exactly is an institution in terms of the underlying Greek words translated into English here as “institution”? Could it be that the underlying Greek words have a more exacting meaning than the broad English terminstitution? Indeed, that is the case.

The Greek words behind the English wordinstitutionareanthropine ktisei, meaning in a literal sense (of the adjective-noun word combination) “for mankind what is created.”Ktiseiis the Greek noun for “create.” It literally means “what has been created by God for mankind.” (the root wordAnthroposmeans “man.”) This is a classic example of the Greek language having a more exact meaning than the English derivative. The broad-meaning English wordinstitutionfails to convey all that the Greek word combination carries with it.

However, when you consider the English verb equivalent of the noun,to institutemeans “to establish in a particular position” (Merriam-Webster). Therein lies a better hint of the substantive meaning ofanthropine ktisei.Submittingto every God-ordained particular authority, as this passage indicates, is in keeping with the will of God.5

The implication and larger context of Peter’s inspired instruction, believerssubmittingtoevery “for man created by God” institution, per the whole of this passage, is equated withsubmissionto God Himself.6While that may be hard to understand here, it is borne out by the many passages depicting these authority-submission relationships inherent in each of the following ordained institutions.7What might be difficult to extrapolate from this aforementioned passage of Scripture alone will be simple to realize and grasp in and from the following passages.

Again, if the identifier of the existence of a God-ordained institution is the command to submit, then there are five—not three—institutions evidenced in Scripture. What follows are explanations of those five explicit authority-submissionrelationships with supporting scriptural passages.

After presenting each of the five institutions with at least three different identifying passages that depict the existence of an authority-submission relationship, I will then provide passages for each that relate to the institution’s God-ordained purpose. Rather than comment on each (in a study that is already lengthy), I will leave it up to you to ascertain the related point being made from each passage. Finally, I will conclude by illustrating the corruptions that follow the commingling of institutions, i.e., when the secularists promote the institution of government as preeminent versus all five being equal in God’s mind. Note the five institutions that follow are in no particular order of importance.

A. ROMANS 13:1–3

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same.

B. 1 PETER 2:13–14

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him ….

C. TITUS 3:1–2

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

The state: its purpose is to moralize.

D. ROMANS 13:4–7

For it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

E. 1 PETER 2:14–17

… for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

Probably the most important aspect of these passages (in terms of present applicability) relates to God’s explicit intentions for the state:the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.To say it with gentleness, it istherefore wise for governing officials to avoid over-involvement with other institutions—public servants should allow latitude versus interfering with the other institutions that God has ordained and allow them to do what they are designed by God to achieve. Each institution is more efficient than any other institution in achieving what God designed it to do.

It is biblically fallacious to think government is God’s only vehicle to achieve His will in the world.

God explicitly limits the state’s purposes in the passages just cited. The state’s purpose is not expanded anywhere else in Scripture. Again, government will not accomplish as effectively or as efficiently what God has ordained as the responsibility and purposes of other institutions. In summary, the God-ordained purpose of the state is to quell evil in a fallen world through corporeal punishment. The outward force of exacting retribution for sin can be deemed “to moralize society.”

The commercial economy of the Roman Empire, at the time of the writing of the New Testament (NT), was that of a master-slave compensation relationship. Without delving into it, although the names in the relationship are similar to American slavery, it is believed by most commentators that the manifestation of employment was quite different. (This is not to suggest it was less than evil in and of itself.) Notwithstanding, the NT writers concentrate on what is preeminent to the many social ills of the Roman Empire: inward change through the gospel versus any emphasis on changing this particular cultural evil (cf. the NT book of Philemon). The point related to this study is to utilize these passages to illustrate the authority-submission relationship that exists in the institution of commerce both then and now (not to debate the issue of slavery and the Bible).

A. 1 PETER 2:18–21

Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.

B. EPHESIANS 6:5

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ.

C. COLOSSIANS 3:22

Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

Commerce: its purpose is to commercialize.

A part of the curse on mankind as a result of the Fall in Genesis 3 is man’stoil in labor. Genesis 3:17–19 states:

“In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…. By the sweat of your face you will eat bread.”

Labor in and of itself is part of the creation and is not to be thought of as a curse. God intends for man to achieve dignity through work. But labor after the Fall will now always be difficult in some way.

Nevertheless, the institution of commerce serves to create sustenance and temporal provisions, if not prosperity, for man’s needs. This is the purpose of this institution as bestowed by the Creator. The state, in contrast, was not and is not intended or designed by the Creator to efficiently commercialize a culture (as previously seen, it is to moralize a culture).

In addition to these first described two institutions’ roles, properly understood, they aid the public servant to reason through otherwise difficult and complex policy issues. (For instance, this construct can be applied to the present healthcare debate.) But in addition to these two institutions, a legislator or cabinet member must be knowledgeable concerning the three remaining institutions that God hascreated for mankindas revealed in the Bible. They follow.

A. 1 PETER 3:1–5

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands.

B. EPHESIANS 5:22–23, 28–33

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.

So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

C. 1 CORINTHIANS 11:3

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.

Marriage: its purpose is tomaterialize (among others).

D. PROVIDE PROCREATION: GENESIS 1:27–28

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Procreation, materializing the next generation, is one of the primary purposes God created the institution of marriage. Further purposes for the institution (in addition to materializing the next generation) follow:

E. TO PROVIDE PERSONIFICATION OF CHRIST’S LOVE FOR THE CHURCH: EPHESIANS 5:24–27

But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

F. TO PROVIDE PARTNERSHIP: GENESIS 2:18

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

G. TO PROVIDE PLEASURE: PROVERBS 5:18–19

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love.

Notice these four manifold purposes for God’s construct of marriage. They are all wonderful! God intends for marriage to be fulfilling as long as it is conducted in His ways (between one man and one woman). Make sure you prioritize your marriage and continue to build equity into your relationship, especially given the difficult lifestyle you lead as a public servant, which often causes you to be separated from your spouse. Safeguard and protect your sacred marriage.

It is God who defines marriage. For the state to redefine marriage is hubristic and serves to illustrate an overreach in institutional purpose.

A. EPHESIANS 6:1–4

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor Your Father and Mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), So that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

B. COLOSSIANS 3:20

Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.

C. HEBREWS 12:5–11

And you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

The family: its purpose is to catechize.

D. TO RAISE A GODLY HERITAGE: EPHESIANS 6:4; PROVERBS 22:6; DEUTERONOMY 4:9

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.

E. TO BE A BLESSING: PROVERBS 17:6; PROVERBS 31:28

Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers.

Her children rise up and bless her.

The primary purpose of the institution of family is to raise godly children for the growth of the church and Christ’s kingdom and its ensuing, resulting positive impact on culture. The fruit of strong families—the first line in disciple-making—inures to the overall benefit of every other institution.

It is a serious error when the state interferes with parents raising their children in a biblical manner. For example, Scripture teaches that parents are to discipline their children at a young age in order to curb their sin nature. If government curtails that institutional responsibility and inalienable right, then government and society will inherit citizens who lack discipline, most likely necessitating a police state in the next generation.

Again, it is hubristic for government to think it knows best how parents should raise their kids! Scripture is God’s intended informant for child-rearing, not government.

A. HEBREWS 13:17

Obey your[church]leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

B. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:12–13

But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

C. ACTS 20:28

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

D. 1 PETER 5:1–5

Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clotheyourselves with humility toward one another.

The church: its purpose is to evangelize.

God’s primary purpose for His Church is to make disciples (Matthew 28:18–20). He achieves this by giving evangelists and pastor-teachers to this institution (Ephesians 4:11–12; Romans 10:15). In 1 Timothy 3:15, Paul states a unique characteristic of the church, which in one sense separates it from every other God-ordained institution. Notice this when the Apostle Paul describes the institution of the church in the following way:

But in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

The church, or the“household of God”as referred to here, is thesupport(hedraioma)of the truth. The word means “under girder,” “foundation,” or “bulwark.” No other God-ordained institution previously examined possesses such a moniker of distinction! The implications are huge. In essence, this means that all other institutions ordained by God in the church age are dependent on the health of the church, which is synonymous with its effectiveness to make disciples who become the preservers and illuminators (cf. Matthew 5:13–14)of the truthin and for all the others. Granted, the church’s primary focus is on building another kingdom, Christ’s kingdom that isnot of this world( John 18:36), but tangentially, it produces (at least should produce) men and women of Christian character who are model, mature-in-Christ’s-character individuals for the other God-ordained establishments. Disciple-making has an effect on the here and now, not just God’s spiritual, eternal kingdom. No other institution can accomplish this task. The church has unique value, and whether they realize it or not, all the other institutions are dependent on the health of the church and its disciple making abilities!8

As indicated, each of the five institutions has uniquely ordained purposes from on high. Each need be allowed to do what it does best.

One cannot expect the church to arrest thieves on the street anymore than one can expect the state to make disciples in the church.

One cannot expect commerce to produce good children any more than one can expect families to produce automobiles.

Each institution is uniquely gifted and endowed by God. The wise legislator and cabinet member will heed God’s way of mediating His reign between His first and second Coming and His means to presently manifest His will in a fallen world by respecting His design and purpose for each institution.

Here are some of the problems that occur when the state (to choose one institution) confuses its role with others or begins acting beyond its purposes (of “rewarding those who do good andpunishing those who do evil”). When government plays in the sand box (so to speak) of another God-ordained establishment, notice some possible outcomes:

God’s Institutions and Their Roles on Earth (3)

All of the above represent aberrations from God’s revealed will. They lead to inefficient, sometimes disastrous consequences. We have the owner’s manual; we should not deviate from its directions. To do so is to in part introduce a theologically incorrect government-and-economics outcome in a given country.

This study, which is in essence a study in Christian worldview, serves to provide the Christian officeholder with a biblically based perspective for governing. If one does not know what he believes, or why he believes what he believes, then this study is especially pertinent. Here is a construct, taken from Holy Writ, that is attuned with the Creator’s blueprint. Remember the purposes of each institution. Here is a two-word takeaway summary:

God’s Institutions and Their Roles on Earth (4)

Furthermore, from a theological perspective:

State exists to manifest God’s restraining grace. God didn’t have to restrain sin after the Fall.

Commerce exists to manifest common grace. God didn’t have to provide a means of and for producing value-added products and services after the Fall.

Marriage exists to manifest creational grace. God didn’t have to prolong putting up with the agony of dealing with wretched individuals after the Fall.

Family exists to manifest formational grace. God didn’t have to provide a means of growing character in people after the Fall.

Church exists to manifest saving grace. God isn’t obligated to save anybody who is in rebellion toward Him after the Fall.

God is so good to us to manifest His grace and reign through these created-for-man institutions. Without them, our fallen world would be much more chaotic; to the degree we live informed by them and enact laws in accordance with them, is to the degree the world is less chaotic. These institutions aremanifestations of His wonderful love and care for us whom He created and for whom He deeply loves!

Again, He has been gracious to provide us with each! He didn’t have to, because in our fallenness we are undeserving! He is a God of order, and this represents divinely thought-out order! Lastly, keep in mind: each institution is more efficient than any other when it comes to doing what it does best.

Herein is how Christ intends to manifest His reign in the world today. These institutions represent His ongoing mediated authority in a fallen world, in His physical absence, prior to His second coming.

The better news, the great news, is that one day Heiscoming—what a glorious day that will be! Christ will someday reign from Jerusalem over the whole world! His physical, personal, non-mediated reign and His manifestation of authority will be perfect, without the stain of sin. What a wonderful day that will be! Are you ready for His return? Have you bowed your knee to His Lordship in every area of your life— including how you should legislate and form policy according toHis will? Confess Him today as your Lord and Savior and legislate according toHis institutional construct. He blesses those who are obedient to Him!

1. LeftRightIQ, April 25, 2022, “Netflix flood of liberal-agnda programming has cost them 35% in less than one week,” https://leftrightiq. com/2022/04/25/netflix-flood-of-liberal-agenda-programming-has-cost-them-35-in-less-than-one-week/

2. Jessica Bursztynsky, Sarah Alessandrini, CNBC News, April, 20, 2022, “Netflix closes down 35% wiping more than $50 billion off market cap,” https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/20/netflix-plunges-trading-subscriber-loss.html

3. Chris Enloe, March 30, 2022, “Leaked videos show Disney employees boasting about forcing LGBT agenda into content,” https://www. theblaze.com/news/leaked-videos-show-disney-employees-boasting-about-forcing-lgbt-agenda-into-content

4. Joshua Rhett Miller, March 30, 2022, “Disney Exec vows more gay characters amid huge inclusivity push,” https://nypost.com/2022/03/30/ disney-executive-wants-more-lgbtqia-minority-character/

5 The Greek words translated “human institution,”anthropine ktiseiἀνθρωπίνῃ κτίσει, are somewhat difficult to translate. The first Greek word is an adjective modifying the second, a noun, both in the dative case of the sentence (an indirect object). The Greek words literally and respectively mean: “characteristic of mankind” (in contrast to heavenly) and “what is created.” When used together they come to mean, “For mankind, what is created.” It is not the idea that the human created the institution, rather a creation by God for mankind, to mediate His reign in Christ’s physical absence. Further, one could argue that authority and submission relationships were necessitated by the Fall (sin in the world) and that no need existed for authority and submission prior to the Fall. This is commonly referred to in theology as the egalitarian viewpoint. Such however is negated by Paul’s rooting of husband and wife authority and submission in creation, not the Fall (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:3–16; 1 Timothy 2:11–14). Institutional authority and submission, then, have to do with the mediatory reign of God in the world versus a remedy for sin, post Fall.

6. A caveat to submission is the principle of Acts 4:19. The passage illustrates one in institutional authority demanding that one in submission to authority disobey a scriptural truth. Whenever a decree by one in authority in any of the five institutions is unequivocally in contradiction to one’s ability to obey God’s Word, then God’s Word must take precedent over the demands of the one in authority.

7. Historical evangelicalism has typically identified only three institutions ordained by God in the church age. If, however, an institution is characterized by the existence of an authority-submissive relationship, which seems to be the composite instruction of 1 Peter 2:13–15, then there are five institutions revealed in the NT. This would then be the difference between what I have deemed a “tritutional” versus a “pentetutional” understanding of the mediatory reign of Christ in the church age. I am, as herein depicted, a “pentetutionalist” (my words).

8. The critical importance of the church to accomplish its God-ordained task of making disciples necessitates that its work need go unhindered by the state. History proves that when the church is not under the control of the state, it is most effective.

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RALPH DROLLINGER/ PRESIDENT & FOUNDER OF CAPITOL MINISTRIES

Ralph Drollinger, President and Founder ofCapitol Ministries, leads separate Bible studies every week on the Hill in Washington, D.C. to U.S. Senators and Representatives. He also leads a Bible study remotely via the internet for former White House Cabinet Members, Senior Staff, and U.S. Governors.

Capitol Ministrieswas founded by Drollinger and his wife Danielle in 1996 with the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ in the political arena throughout the world. To date, the ministry has established discipleship Bible-study ministries to legislators in 43 states, to city and country local leaders in communities in nine states, and in dozens of foreign countries.

As an expository, historical, evangelical pastor, Drollinger teaches the Bible one book at a time, verse by verse. Additionally, Bible studies Drollinger has written on topical issues are delivered to the 535 legislators every week. Drollinger believes that nothing can substitute this basic discipline in ministry. Transformation and discipleship stem from "the renewing of the mind" (Romans 12:1-2).

Drollinger played basketball at UCLA under coach John Wooden and was the first player in NCAA history to go to four Final Four tournaments. Drollinger was taken in the NBA Draft three times but chose to forgo the NBA to instead play with Athletes in Action, an evangelistic basketball team that toured the world and preached the gospel at halftimes. Drollinger signed with the Dallas Mavericks in June 1980 as a free agent, becoming the first Dallas Maverick in the history of the then-new NBA franchise.

A world-class mountaineer, Drollinger is the first person to have climbed every peak on the main ridge of the Sierra Nevada between Olancha and Sonora Pass, CA, the 250-mile section known as the High Sierra. Ralph and Danielle Drollinger have three married children and seven grandchildren.

God’s Institutions and Their Roles on Earth (2024)
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