My thoughts are also with Giles.
Religion will always take a path. Man feels inspired to start something different, real, authentic and a true path to deity. In the end, he needs a little money for his efforts to support his family, he needs a little rent for the building, he has some ideas for an adult marriage class, so he needs a little more money to create the curriculum. If he doesn’t attract a few more people, he won’t make his rent on the building, so he makes choices…spice up the music, or spice up the rhetoric, or spice up the quality of the sermon…all takes more of his time, more need for money. In order to acquire enough base tithe payers to run the whole shebang, you have to try to make some claim that getting to heaven is more likely in your congregation over the guy’s down the street. Else, why go to your’s? The people start to look up to said man with original idea and now they are worshiping his sermon’s, his ideas, rather than having and eye single to God.
His heart is in the right place, but it turns into a business. It is an experiment that has been tried hundreds of thousands of times and the result is always a business.
In the end, for me…so far…religion is made by man. Man is ill suited to run religion. Spirituality takes the middle man out of the picture and goes straight to God. What I long for is a weekly meet up where deep meaningful spirituality is discussed. But needs to be a fire on the beach or in the mountains, with donated matches and logs…and bring your own wine. As soon as someone offers to pay the mediator for his time, or trouble, or gas to get there, shut it down! It’s not going to lead to a good place.