Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Problem With Institutional Love

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 22, 2017

ppt-jpeg4“… the drunkenness of control-lust hardly seeks to advocate the law of individual conscience.”

Truism’s make us feel better and supply cover for living a lie in various venues of life. “The church isn’t a building, it’s the people.” Right. That one is only rivaled by the laugher in my line of work: “It’s about resident care, not personal agendas.” Right.

The problem with institutional caring, love, if you will, is that institutions are intrinsically related to authority. God, who is love, of course, has all authority, but is not an authoritarian. That fact is apparent; God is not presently in control of all things. That’s future; ie., the Millennial Kingdom. Even then, folks have freewill and things are not yet perfect, that comes via the “new heavens and new earth.”

Love has little to do with authority. True love flows from freewill and pure motives. Where authority is present, one is compelled to mimic love, especially when it is being paid for as a service. I am not sure there is a better example than the Nurse Aide line of work; those who receive immense satisfaction in caring and those who are just there for a paycheck are not hard to sort out. And when a resident knows they are being cared for by a clock-puncher, and trust me, they know, it is perhaps the most grievous form of abuse, but yet legal.

And in the Nurse Aide business, clock-punchers don’t like lovers because the lovers shine a light on their clock-punching. Certainly, institutions can cultivate a true love culture, but that is hard work and institutions are notorious for lazy management. Hence, nursing facilities are fraught with steroidal politics and loving aides pose a threat of challenging work for management. Mediocracy is easier to manage, but cultivating a culture of love is very hard work.

Well, they think mediocracy is easy to manage, but it is really misery on an installment plan. Primarily, facilities are notoriously shorthanded for the following reason; lazy management. Again, cultivated the right aide culture is hard work…initially, that is. But if the path of least resistance is the policy (because it seems that it is the least resistance), aides that love what they do who get in by happenstance will create all kinds of conflict leading to pretense-driven politics of the highest order. And how do aides who love what they do get in? Their presentations of themselves are assumed to be pretense or they appear to be clock-punchers because they don’t talk about what they do, they just do it after the fact. But if their actions raise the bar, Katy bar the door.

You can’t legislate love or the motives of the heart. Here is the thing about authority; it can’t make any person do anything. Sure, you can execute someone, but you can’t make them do anything they don’t want to do. They may capitulate to authority, but that’s not love, and in fact, one may reject some forms of authority out of pure love. This is where freewill is an obvious metaphysical fact. God Himself created mankind with the built-in impossibility of making anybody do anything they don’t want to do; He will eventually punish them for not doing what they were created to do in His image, but mankind is inherently a freewill creature.

God is love, and we are created in his image. People are able to love. God is presently in the love business, and when it is time for His authority, that will be very evident. His authority guarantees the outcome that He wants; it guarantees a happy ending for all who love Him and His ways of love, but He presently seeks those who will glorify Him through love.

Institutions attempt to accomplish things through authority which translates into a lack of love. When love takes place in an institution, it is a freewill individual act that can’t come from authority. Institutions, though absolutely necessary, have a very limited role in actual goodness and are intended to free goodness and individualism by force if necessary. In other words, institutions should free the individual to love, but are unable to produce that love.

To illustrate this from a biblical perspective, sin uses law to create desires within people to reject said laws. Laws, though necessary, assume the worst about humanity and reject the ability of individual conscience, and the ability to cultivate an individual conscience to produce more love. This is why institutions with authoritative high standards will end up being bastions of hypocrisy; conscience is legislated rather than assumed. If you tell people they are evil as illustrated by “necessary” laws to restrain such evil, they will act according to expectations.

In contrast, if the “Here is why we do it this way” is presented rather than “You better do it this way, or else,” coupled with the initial hard work of cultivating a culture of true love, employees will function more from personal conscience which determines their actions anyway. Institutions cannot replace personal conscience which is the only true source of love to begin with. Wise institutions, that is, as much as they can be wise, seek to create an atmosphere where consciences flourish, not conformity to pseudo-utopic laws.

This is why I am convinced of the following: the called-out assembly of Christ is meant to function as a cooperative body in a family-of-God setting rather than an authoritative institution. This is in addition to the fact that the Bible explicitly states such.

Institutions are God’s ministers to free the individual conscience according to what is evident to all, because God created conscience in all people according to His image. But institutions cannot produce love. Instead, unless their purpose and limitations are known, they incite the sinful tendency to control others within caste systems full of class-envy-lust where individual self-importance can be purchased through credentials, political skill, drugs, and sex. Invariably, the mentality that institutions are the endgame will produce a quagmire of political intrigue. And, the drunkenness of control-lust hardly seeks to advocate the law of individual conscience.

Only the individual conscience can produce love.


2 Responses

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  1. Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on September 22, 2017 at 9:04 AM


    What you said is true not only of the nurse’s aide profession. I have experienced the same exact thing in every job I ever held, whether it was working at Burger King as a teenager or as a customer support representative for a software company.

    The same experience is true in just about any area of your daily life. Walk into just about any retail establishment, or heaven forbid you have to contact some “customer support” line for a technical issue, and you will encounter individuals who are only marking time until their next paycheck. What is the typical response when you ask a CSR a question? “Let me check with my manager about that.” They are not empowered to make decisions that affect customer satisfaction. They are only worried about not doing anything that will cost them their job. And it is like you said, management is the problem, because it is management that fosters this kind of mentality, and it produces a trickle-down effect. Management’s focus is on “following procedure,” and the customer is the real loser in the end.

    This is why I am so thankful to have my own business. This is why I could NEVER go back to working for someone else!


  2. John said, on September 22, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    “Unless [institutions’] purposes and limitations are known, they incite the sinful tendency to control others within caste systems full of class-envy-lust where individual self-importance can be purchased through credentials, political skill, drugs, and sex.” Just like the ACBC. Just like Protestantism as a whole (the despicable Calvinism and Reformed Nonsense, Lutheranism, and all flavors and bad smells, etc., included).

    In 2003, a Calvinist “biblical counselor” (I still laugh at that description) told me this Protestant guano after I’d told her that my mom had been physically/mentally/emotionally assaulted and abused by my dad for years: “Oh, if she’s survived til now, she’ll be okay further on. Not a problem.” What happened next, I can’t repeat. In that “counselor” there was zero love because in that institution (Protestantism) there is zero love. It’s all pretense.

    The “counselor” was simply given the reply she’d been taught; she was a Protestant Zombie. Can anyone spell “evil”?

    Oh, I’ll also never be able to work for someone else in the traditional sense. People cling to “knowledge” to make them seem superior and initiative is the biggest sin of them all. Zombies, zombies everywhere!


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