I'm a little taken by this topic, if you feel I'm ranting, it's probably because I am.
Christians automatically assume you're backslideing because I don't go to one paticular church, a floater, and they feel I am moving away from Jesus when it's quite the opposite. I have visited several churches in search of a home after I left a church that I was involved with for 5 years and I started seeing many of the same tendencies and abuses, much control and manipulation, a significant pecking order in the leadership that would lead you to feel that you couldn't be close to Christ unless you were close to them? Or maybe your relationships were hot and cold according to how much you're involved or helped out. It's normal for someone to want to be loved and appreciated and that gets taken advantage of in todays church. You may feel some intimidation because you don't feel comfortable, but do I dare speak against God? If your reading the Bible and following the what it says, not twisting it to accommodate your situation, but coming with an honest heart and spirit, you are not speaking against God, but for God. You are standing alone, independent in Christ. Isn't this the way Jesus was? I understand financial needs of a church, and it is necessary, but where is the line drawn on vanity? As a good friend of mine said to me " It shouldn't be WWJD, it should be WDJD, What Did Jesus Do?" Why would you assume what Jesus would do in a given situation which leaves everything open to interpretation, when you can study the Bible and fiind what he did do, all the answers are there. Jesus walked in Love and what I've experienced in alot of church environments is conditional love, act the way we want you to and don't question anything and we'll love you. On the other hand, we do need to lift up our churches in prayer, they are being attacked and need help. Anyone who has been to different churches in the same area, especially if you know the leaderships, have seen that most places have their own agenda and they don't really get along with the other churches or the people who run them, and I haven't even found two that have the same doctrine. Isn't that strange? Aren't we all part of the Body of Christ? How are we supposed to grow into what God has for us and what he wants us to be if we rely on this disfunction to lead us? Strong independent Christians are needed, the Church needs them, accountability will take place as the church grows with them. We need to be reading the entire Scripture instead of one line or a few words so we can justify what we want. No man can get between you and Christ unless you allow it, there is Freedom in Christ, not bondage, and remember, press into Christ and make your own decisions with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, when your standing before the Lord someday, your Pastor won't be by your side taking responsibility for what he told you to do.