I enjoyed reading both segments of your post. I am not a biblical scholar or an avid reader of books on theology, especially if they are on (or outside) the margins of orthodoxy. I will need to think more about this subject, but it seems to resonate with me on the first reading. I am very frustrated with many churches that seem more like social gatherings that have no impact outside the church doors, and where people are left with their idolatry unquestioned or opposed.
I firmly believe that sound doctrine is essential and that unsound doctrine in a local fellowship should be challenged. However, I do see that most churches do not acknowlege the history of God at work through His people for His glory. My church in Michigan does better at it than many that I am familiar with. It is just now rising to the task of preparing “the church” to deal with the increasingly ungodly culture we live in. I pray that there will be a day when self-indulgence will be questioned and extravagant giving will be encouraged. Getting our hands “dirty” in the process and facing persecution and loss are part of the whole, but are not yet much talked about.