Joined: Oct. 2009
There's two points here
1) This is very, very much an us/them kind of thing. These true believers were raised as true believers and are busy raising another generation of true believers. The "us" is those in their church. That's it. Other churches within their religion are only tolerated.* If one moves, then it's OK to find a new church, but that's about the only acceptable reason.
The "them" is everyone else. Those people are not "The Tru Peeple". They are almost sub-human. It's OK for a Christian to lie to a non-christian... it's not like they are members of the church or anything. It literally doesn't even cross their mind to think about it.
As long as you support your in group, then anything else is pretty much acceptable. If you aren't in the in-group, even in the church, then your life will be pretty miserable. A more clannish/cliqueish society than churches has never been found.
2) The vast majority of the people in these churches have never read the Bible. They haven't a clue what it says and generally don't care. The pastor tells them what it says.**
It's really pretty stunning how much control a pastor has over his congregation. A new pastor can radically alter the power pyramid / social structure within a church.
Anyway, I don't know about other churches (but I suspect it's very similar), the Southern Baptist Convention basically tells the pastors how to preach and what to preach when. I would not be surprised if most of the sermons aren't even written by the pastor, but either copied from another pastor or handed down from the Convention.
I talk a lot about the SBC because that's what I was raised in. To paraphrase Obi-wan, it is a wretched hive of discrimination and bigotry. Oh... and don't forget hypocrisy... massive, toe-curling amounts of hypocrisy. Remember though, it's OK because you're being hypocritical to "them".
* There is some seriously bad blood between the various Southern Baptist Churches in my home area. I mean, seriously...
** and if he's had a lick of actual training, he knows it's all a sham, but preaches to the sheeple anyway.
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.