But look at how corrupted many of the 'middlemen of God' (clergy, etc.) have acted in these last few decades, where things have become harder to hide. There is no need for a middleman really, yet for 2000 years, middlemen were essentially 'God' to most people and that kind of power over people is how these groups thrive. They are men, not Gods. Quoting: BOWMAN
You cannot go wrong when it's you and God and no one in between. Which is why I don't like to spend time tossing catch phrases and 'acting like a good Christian' in order to impress my peers around me. They can judge all they want. You know what I mean?
I can agree with that. And not only for the RCC. As soon as people decided to turn the organism into an organization, power began its corrupting work. The apostles predicted that "wolves would arise from among you and scatter the flock", which is exactly what happened. Though like Israel there has always been a small minority keeping the faith, the church has been in a "diaspora" of its own.
Rome has always been in the business of persecuting Christians, and nothing changed when Christianity became an approved state religion. Instead of Caesars, it was the "bishops" burning people and Bibles. This continued even after the Reformation, where Luther and others became enraged at those who refused to follow their rules. Luther hated Jews and women, and Calvin hated pretty much everybody who dared to disagree with him, even to the point of burning at the stake.
Now, Satan has taken the approach of entertainment and "peace at any price" rather than the direct frontal assault. People are much easier to corrupt if they're slowly led astray by subtle and crafty lies. The result is a "seeker" church filled with unbelievers who, as predicted, "have an outward form of godliness but deny its power".
I spent the first 47 years of my life in "church", very active and faithful, a musician and sometimes teacher. But the more I studied the scriptures, the more convinced and convicted I became to "come out of her, my people". I no longer treat God as if I'm visiting a relative in a nursing home once a week to assuage my guilt, but as my best friend and mentor, the One who loved me enough to die for me before I was even born.