Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus.  
We went in the wrong direction.

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How to pick a church

A lot of people look for a church to attend by using that most sacred of documents, the phone book. It can be tricky if you are not familiar with the brands of Christianity or the code words. There are Reformed, Catholic, Baptist, and Charismatic churches. They come in liberal, moderate, and conservative flavors.

If you are inclined towards going to a liberal church, ask yourself, "Why bother". You can have more fun at Waterworld. Liberal churches really are ones that have switched over to the religion of secularism (the worship of man in general and self in particular). They still call themselves "Christian" so that they don't have to forfeit the trusts and endowments left by members who died decades earlier and really were Christian.

Many liberal churches are intensively active in social justice, pro abortion, homosexual rights, feminism, and vegetarianism. They make an occasional reference to Jesus such as, "Jesus wouldn't have been a hater". However, you will not learn how to be more like Jesus here, you will only see how Jesus can be made more like Lenin. Liberals can be quite zealous, but it is usually not for Christ.

Most Main-line (reformed and Catholic) churches are moderate and designed for Christians running on inertia. Jesus doesn't mean much to these people either. They have doctrines that prescribe the USDA minimum requirements to get into heaven which are not too demanding and then they can get on with the rest of their "real" lives. Most moderate churches trend towards the liberal but without the zeal of the liberal evangelists of secularism.

Conservative churches often have a "bunker mentality" in that they see Christianity under attack by a corruptive world. This is not an erroneous view. However, they often respond to this attack by making rules and measuring how well they each keep them. Jesus is often held high, but then you are told that you have to make yourself like him. Conservatives often seem unable to relax. It is almost as if they feel it is up to them to keep an evil world at bay with a dour look and and an expression of contempt.

Regardless of the flavor, churches will operate with programs, events, classes, activities, and procedures. It is almost as if someone thought Christianity needed to be streamlined for high efficiency automation. Real Christianity is about truth, love, and humility and surrender to God for the work He has in and through us as He makes us more like Jesus. Church Christianity is often about you accepting a package of doctrine and doing what you are told.

In the Bible Christians are told to love one another and they even call each other "brother". This speaks volumes of the relationship nature of Christianity (us with Christ and each other). Organizational systems cannot do relationships. They often try with scripted and orchestrated procedures, but in the end they just fall flat.

Trying to live as a Christian outside the stultifying and restrictive confines of church is a lot like swimming upstream. You might want to cultivate a relationship with another Christian however, they often see Christianity as a matter of herding you into their church corral.

The Christian searching for fellowship with other Christians faces a sea of churches sinking into an ocean of worldliness. Those few churches that try to resist this tidal current often end up going through the door of the Galatians and walking down the path of the Pharisees and ending up imprisoning themselves in a cell of self-satisfaction and smugness.

For those few Christians unsatisfied with "church" type Christianity the only option is to keep searching for other like-minded Christians with whom real fellowship and the deeper Christian life can be pursued. This might require visiting various churches, however, you might want to avoid all the entangling commitments church membership can entail or you might find yourself herded into a religion "corral".