I was once heavily involved in a church, spending many hours every week setting up, operating, repairing, and upgrading the sound system, often paying for the parts myself before tearing down components for the repair.
It was done not just as my commitment as a Christian, but also to further an ulterior motive of mine, which was to become integral enough to have some input on topics and possibly help point /lead agendas.
I learned far more than I ever imagined before I ultimately walked away.
My takeaway analogy is the Church is like kindergarten and elementary school.
Essential for New Christians, and awesome support for all as they grow and learn in their Journey with Christ.
Then there comes a time when you find yourself on a plateau and realize two choices.
You can stay in the Church Womb, held close and comforted by others as the Pastor carefully chooses the message to generate just enough guilt to help you dig deep while giving just enough absolution to make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
Unfortunately there are a LOT of people who don't want it to change, who take solace in turning the other cheek, they accept the pain, ( financially, spiritually, politically, etc.), as their "repayment" for His Sacrifice.
They are far more comfortable with being guilted into giving too much and having to put off paying a bill then being challenged into taking any outward action.
Many pastors use the 501(c)3 guides as an excuse, but I believe in reality are far more motivated by the weekly take and total control of the needy "flock".
I'm sure there are some out there who aren't afraid, but after the bitter disappointment of easily seeing the underlying reality in several different congregations after becoming so deeply immersed I long ago lost my desperate thirst for a Sunday meetup.
Most churches have congregations made up of generational church goers.
They have been raised from the cradle to be part of the protected flock, and to accept whatever evil may befall as God's Will.
There will be some with the fortitude to make a stand, but for the most part they are not, and never will be warriors.
The other choice for me was to leave to leave the bubble, venture out, and grow as a Christian as I walked my own path.
Perhaps because I was a warrior before finding Christ, whatever the reason, I just can't sit through another sermon where the pastor declares in the beginning it "will be difficult, hard, and of extreme importance", and then launch a 45 minute guilt trip on giving more and demanding everyone accept everything going on because God has willed it.
Personally, I think Christians are a total fail for not standing up and taking to the streets to defend their God.