That sounds like a pretty bad church. And its clear that religion, b/c of how it emotionally manipulates people, is often used that way.<quoted text>
They were the acts of shut-in Christians. That's my take on it, anyway.
Do you remember my story about walking out in the middle of the sermon when the pastor said "if you don't tithe God gets mad at you"?
I was the only one that walked out, the only one that made a stink about it later on. I met my parents later for breakfast and my dad, who has a masters degree in theology, could not find the verse to confirm with the pastor said.
It made me sick, it really did. It kind of confirmed my thoughts based on the church I went to previously, where the pastor was taking donations to "improve the church", but instead of improving the church, he and his wife got matching Mercedes.
I walked out of that church, too.
Don't think all Christian pastors are like that though, even if you feel like you should judge them all based on the actions of the one. I'm sure your experience was just an outlier and other pastors are just fine people who carefully direct their tithes toward charity and the good of the flock.