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I just don't believe small groups or home groups or house churches are the answer. This doesn't solve the root problem of control. I've seen and been a part of very toxic small groups that are soaked with the spirit of control, ambition, greed, fear, superstition, strife... just as bad as any traditional church.
In fact, I've seen even worse symptoms of spiritual abuse in smaller groups. Like this cartoon suggests, having people divided up into tinier groups makes it easier to intimidate, manage, shame, scrutinize and control them.
It's not the buildings. It's not the money. It's not the liturgy. It's not the clergy/laity issue. These are all a matter of style. These things aren't the root problem.
The root problem is not allowing people to live in their own freedom.
Spiritual independence is feared and hated by those who would like to manage the spiritual lives of others.
Want to experience freedom in a group? We're doing a pretty good job of it in our online community The Lasting Supper.