Morpheus: “The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters; the very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system… You have to understand; most of the people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.”
It is all they know. The main point is once you are comfortable with the institutional church, there is a real cost to unplugging.
We need to count the cost of freedom and growth. Many “church” people will react in fear we we stop playing the “church” game. When people are fearful, they usually react in the fight of flight mode, in which they will either turn away from you or turn on you. Most of us, while under the influence of the church system, were fairly fearful. We have been programed by the church system to be fearful about most everything. We are afraid of God because the Old Testament Law is still taught in church, as if we, by our own willpower, could ever keep it. We couldn’t, so we often felt like failures. We were certainly afraid to question the many contradictions of the church life because we would have risked rejection or ostracization. We were afraid to think for ourselves for fear that we might come up with a different answer to the church dogma and be out of sync with our friends, denomination, or church beliefs. We were taught if you are “out of church” too long that the devil will get a hold of you, trick you, hurt you, and cause you to backslide.
Church attenders have been assimilated onto a system that is based on this world’s ways, disguised as the Body of Christ. Things contrary to Christ abound: association around a denomination (division), approval based on works, coercion and manipulation using shame and guilt, law keeping, motivating by using fear, honoring the wealthy, to name a few. Many people have been involved in church for years, or even decades. Church involvement is not an easy pattern to get free from because we get so entrenched in it. But freedom does exist.
-Excerpt from, “Was church God’s Idea?” by Marc Winter (italacs & bold mine)