Manipulation is a sign of counterfeit Christianity. Coercive Christianity is aversive to voluntary surrender to the living Jesus Christ. The freedom to think creatively can never be taken away, but it’s often freely surrendered.
Church, by its nature, is coercive. It demands silence, passivity, and submission to its programs, from those in attendance.
The living Jesus doesn’t need a religious program, intermediary, or organization in order to interact with you. Jesus said “Make disciples,” not “Train people to hear a weekly sermon for the rest of their life.”
People who are pushed into church don’t have much joy. People who eagerly jump into obeying the living Jesus overflow with joy.
People with closed hearts have only superficial connections with other people. It’s better to have a deep heart than a deep pocket. Heart-felt connections make people happier than just accumulating money.
When Christianity is merged into an organizational structure, it loses most of it’s freedom, spontaneity, and supernatural power. The mistranslation of ekklesia as church is a big deal. That’s because it makes people think that today’s religious organizations are sanctioned by the Bible.