I'm fascinated with the documentary about Scientology with Leah Remini and it has given me insight into organized religion. Here's my thought: people spend too much time talking and listening to sermons than actually going outside of their comfort zone and DOING something useful.
Every church is a cult, using guilt or other such negative reinforcement (like threats of spending eternity in hell), as a method of control. Anyone with questions or ideas that don't gel with the church are not welcome. Why? Because they challenge the notion that maybe there is something wrong with the way the church interprets the bible. And yes, it is an interpretation.
But my biggest revelation is that people know what they are supposed to do in life to honour God. They need only go to church once to get their minds filled with how to be like Jesus. Then they should go out into the world and do it (or not, that's their choice). But to require themselves to continue to go every week to get the same message drilled into their heads week after week? What does that mean? Well, instead of going into the world and helping the poor, the debilitated, the sinful (if you will), they need constant reassurance that they are believing the right thing. Constant reminding of what they need to do to make the world a better place.
Well, I say spend less time quelling your anxiety and go out and be like God. Talk to an addict, go to a prison and pray with a convict, volunteer on a suicide hotline, donate clothes to the homeless, deliver food to children in 3rd world countries, take in a refugee.
What? That's too much effort? Those things are uncomfortable?
It's much easier to just spend an hour on a Sunday listening to what you should be doing instead of actually doing it, right?
Yeah, I thought so.