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I have no disagreement with you regarding what being in the presence of God does for people. But being in a church doesn’t mean you’re in the presence of God. And being in a church is not a requirement in terms of God’s presence either. The bible says “where two or three people are gathered in my name, there I am among them.”

Originally you stated that “the church is not supposed to be a safe and inclusive space unless you are living a holy life.” And while I agree with some of the aspects of what you define as church, I still disagree with the sentiment that churches, in any instance, are supposed to be unsafe and exclusive. And I don’t believe that to be an attitude of compassion. And that’s the assignment; love and compassion. That’s the ONLY assignment as far as I’m concerned.

I would also argue that if a church is where you need to go to feel uncomfortable on account of your sins, then you (generally speaking) are spiritually dead.

Quite frankly I would rather not attend anyone’s church. I’ve been to churches all over the US and a few foreign/3rd world countries and, in my evaluation, churches are the ‘Boys and Girls Club’ for the religious. Few people actually go to connect with God. Most say and many genuinely think they do. But honestly, people go because it makes them comfortable. You get to surround yourself with people who don’t challenge your ideals/contradictions on religion, because they prescribe to the same version of it as you. You go because at first maybe your parents made you, and then you develop the sense that it’s somehow required of “good christians.” It even has a slightly different spin than the other Christian guys down the street, and that makes it special. You pay a fee to participate. It’s repetitive and ritualistic, like getting coffee on the way to work each day. And it makes you feel good. You get the title and privilege of “member” and that is what church is. Having said that, I don’t think that makes them bad, just not for me.

It has benefits for some people/communities it serves (sometimes) and that’s the great part. On the other hand some people need church to validate their spirituality and relationship with God. Whatever the reason, to each their own.