Well, there are already some things being said to me that indicate people haven't been listening. So let's run through this one more time.
I am not saying "brethren" teach what is wrong. I am saying they have developed a system that is collapsing under its own weight. I am in complete agreement with "exclusive brethren" as far as things like church order and inter-assembly relationships. That is, I think what they say about those topics is correct. If they would only do what they say, I would have no problems with them. If they really would allow the Holy Spirit to lead in the meetings, if they really did act in unity instead of descending into schism at every crisis, then I'd be onboard.
I'm not looking for "open reception." I completely buy the whole "guarded fellowship" idea. I'm not in any way suggesting we ought to allow strangers to break bread, nor am I advocating a freelance model of fellowship wherein people just sort of drift from assembly to assembly as they feel inclined that day. What I am saying is, our tests of fellowship are all wrong: we receive based solely on whether someone's a member of the group.
I'm not saying we ought to have clergy, elders, or anything of the sort. I'm saying we're hypocrites when we condemn others for their "pastor" then have a roster of men whose word cannot be questioned. I'm saying that when a man or group of men can effectively overturn an assembly decision, we have clergy in fact, if not in name.
I'm not saying we are wrong to have books, commentaries, and various publications. I am saying that we are in fact committing idolatry when we consider them to be the authority, rather than Scripture.
I'm not saying we ought to jettison things like church order, I'm not even saying things like headcoverings or "open ministry" are unimportant. I am saying that getting externals right is not an excuse to be backbiting, self-righteous, or complacent. The scripture warns very strongly about "having a form of godliness" and denying it's power.
My desire for "occasional fellowship" is not because I intend to visit a whole slew of other assemblies and break bread there. It's based on the conviction that there is no membership other than that in the Body of Christ, and (one-line disclaimers in assembly phone lists notwithstanding) what we practice is sectarian membership.
I'm not saying the assembly where I have been fellowshipping is in sin. I'm saying that I have been compromising on certain things in order to get others. For example, I've been compromising on the issue of reception in order to be in an assembly where the meetings are largely unscheduled so the the Holy Spirit can lead. But I've started to realize that I've made compromises on "intangibles" for "tangibles." That is, I've compromised on issues like pride and complacency so I can see a certain level of correct church order. I no longer feel free to make those compromises. I am not condemning anyone, but I no longer feel free to continue on this course.
That probably won't clear things up to any significant degree, but I felt it worthwhile to lay it all out like that.