Seeking to be relevant, the church too can become a shopping mall of false promises that yields despair or self-righteousness, rather than faith and the fruit of the Spirit. (Ch. 6)
I will say that what I see going on in churches is my biggest struggle right now. Having attended one church for 8 years, but then getting involved with leadership and seeing what the actions and attitudes were behind closed doors was a struggle. A serious struggle. A minister embezzling funds, poor treatment of people who just want to serve, blind eyes turned to serious issues, and an attitude that said, "God put us in charge, you need to deal with it." A culminating moment for me at this place was a weekend leadership retreat. Upon realizing that very little time had actually been spent in prayer, the lead minister stated, "That's okay, because we are doing God's work." Yikes!
Our next experience was even worse. We had dared to question something the minister had said during our small group discussion, and were called before the eldership. No one was allowed to speak on our behalf, it was a closed meeting. Even the minister himself was not at the meeting. Lots of lies and accusations, but nothing can be challenged if those who made the accusations are not present. Nor was anyone else at the meeting allowed to attend. But they had t-shirts that said "Be the church." And folks were encouraged to wear them as they did a once a year service project for the community.
So now we sit in relative silence, worshiping in a church that is so large, I doubt they would notice if we disappeared. Participating in a Sunday School class with a group of good people, but feeling like we are on the outside looking in. That statement in the above quote, "false promises that yields despair," I can relate to that. So desperately hungering for a gospel-centeredness that seems to be unreachable.
I won't give up on Jesus, I won't give up on church, but it is a struggle right now.