||In a healthy church
||In an unhealthy church
||Genorisity and giving to ministries/charities are taught as principles.
Opportunities for giving to the church are presented, but ultimately it is the church-goers decision if and how much to give.
[2 Corinthians 9:5-15]
|Giving to the church is coerced.
You are guilt-tripped and threatened into it. Finances may be monitored; you could be shamed or penalized for not giving "enough".
||Attendance is encouraged.
If you miss, you are given the benefit of the doubt. If it's a prolonged absence, you may be checked on out of kindness.
|Attendance is mandatory.
If you miss, you are viewed with suspicion and may be privately scolded or publicly humiliated.
||Scripture is carefully studied and taught.
The goal is to align church beliefs and behavior to God's word.
[2 Timothy 2:15]
|Scripture is weaponized.
It is used as a tool to justify and enforce church beliefs and behavior.
||When members move to another church or church group, they are still considered brothers and sisters in Christ and fellowshipped with love and respect.
|There is no legitimate reason to leave the church group. Those who do are labeled as compromisers, rebels, etc. Relationships are often strained or ended.
||Pastors and elders are servant-leaders, humble shepherds who care for the flock. They are viewed as equals, but respected and followed as they follow Christ.
[1 Peter 5:1-5]
|Pastors and elders are 'lords' who rule over their churches with high-handed control. They are viewed as above everyone else.
||Essential and first-tier doctrines are divided over in love and respect, lesser differences are expected and gladly fellowshiped for the sake of the gospel.
|Differences, even on secondary and tertiary, doctrines, are viewed as dangerous and divided over. Conformity to the group is expected and pressured.
||Questions are invited, open and honest discussions are intentionally cultivated. Leaders encourage the church to hold their teachings accountable to Scripture.
|Questions are met with suspicion; those asking are often viewed as rebellious, backsliding, and causing division. Clarifying questions might be tolerated, but questions that challenge church teachings with scripture are shut down.
||Churches from other groups, especially local churches, are viewed as partners to collaborate with in order to better serve the local community and share the gospel.
[I Corinthians 12:12-27]
|Churches from other groups, especially local churches, are viewed as competitors. Visiting them is discouraged, partenership is unthinkable.