Treven Wax corrects some misunderstanding about earlier statements he made that were taken as saying people should not leave churches. There are, he notes, times when you should flee. He refers to a book by Jonathan Leeman called Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus. Now I don't really mean to plug for such a book and though I'm a church member I would not insist that anyone has to be a formal church member. On the other hand, Leeman's checklist of reasons to flee a church are things worth passing on.
...abusive churches and Christian leaders characteristically
- Make dogmatic prescriptions in places where Scripture is silent.
- Rely on intelligence, humor, charm, guilt, emotions, or threats rather than on God’s Word and prayer (see Acts 6:4).
- Play favorites.
- Punish those who disagree.
- Employ extreme forms of communication (tempers, silent treatment).
- Recommend courses of action that always, somehow, improve the leader’s own situation, even at the expense of others.
- Speak often and quickly.
- Seldom do good deeds in secret.
- Seldom encourage.
- Seldom give the benefit of the doubt.
- Emphasize outward conformity, rather than repentance of heart.
- Preach, counsel, disciple, and oversee the church with lips that fail to ground everything in what Christ has done in the gospel and to give glory to God.