Isn't there a song of some persuasion confessing, I can't get along without you? I heard a recent line of a song, If you don't leave me alone, I'll find somebody who will. Interesting.
Church autonomy has surely taken a beating. We don't do well at getting along together apart because we want to be apart together. I mean why do congregations who take the strongest and most rigid stance against divorce seem to be first in line to divorce other congregations? This is a mess; a complete unexplainable, disorientable mess.
Wouldn't it be better (even more Christ-like) if we liked the fact we are, in several ways, different? Wouldn't it be progress to recognize there really are some folks who need to worship differently and by the autonomous route, individuals can actually find such a family fit without condemning the rest?
Frankly, I think the church is growing more in this direction. Jesus is still having his way favorable way with his people. Not every liberal or conservative has bailed on the Bible way of doing things. I'm not certain as to just how important the owning of church buildings, the conducting of Bible classes, and the number of cups at communion should precisely be. But I do know one thing; mercy is a mighty big doctrine which no soul can choose to deliberately ignore.
Maybe we can make progress in being alike in allowing differences.