Businesses know it is bad business to badmouth other businesses. Competition between coffee shops and skate shops can get downright ugly, but there is a line of negativity that these entrepreneurs know must not be crossed. Those who cross it ensnare their customers in a guild feud and their business walks out overnight.
In business, this is easy to understand: Respect your competition.
This fully applies to Sunday morning “fellowship” congregations, but only in practice, never in name. If you see the business guild on Sunday morning for what it is, “respect between competitors” is easy to navigate. Pastors “respecting each others’ parishioners” makes perfect sense, you will know what to say and not say and when to say and not say it. The entire collection of Sunday morning territorial turf battles are perfectly sensible, if seen from the vantage point of respect between business competitors.
But, pastors can’t explain it so cut and dry. If they ever called it what it is, the secret would be out: Sunday morning is about profitability and financial solvency. The task is tall because the buildings are expensive, requiring a lot of money to keep the show afloat. So, while business guild rules must be rigidly applied and enforced on Sunday morning, they must never be explained clearly enough to be seen for what they are. This is because Sunday morning is sold to the parishioners as a “family” and “the kingdom of God on Earth” and all that boring “for the glory” rotgut.
There remains the elephant in the Sunday morning living room that must never be disturbed, but talking about it—even to properly sidestep—is the greater transgression.