When you talk about the possibility of people not being a part of a denomination or a religious institution but just seeking God purely on their own in the midst of life many Christians, pastors, & people in the church world think that there will be total mayhem & chaos & that everyone will go off in different directions. When they express that concern, basically what they are saying is, "I don't really believe there is a God." -Darin Hufford
Jesus said, "the traditions of men stop the Word of God." Jesus is the word of God. If everything hinges on human leaders, institutions, & doctrines you don't need God to be real, alive, or present. Much of visible Christianity, though labeled as under God, is atheistic in practice. This religion, while not always as strict, is just as self-righteous as that of the Pharisees. The main difference is that a frowning or angry picture of Jesus is placed next to the law. So now even the humble, who wouldn't dream of trying to be righteous in the same prideful ways the Pharisees tried, are shamed into living a life of self-righteousness.
A religion that doesn't need God to run has replaced Him in every aspect. Churches have preachers & the misapplication or twisting of scripture to replace the living Holy Spirit to teach us. In churches people sit next to one another & have a two minute greeting to create the illusion of fellowship. The seminaries & theologians have already formulated all information into denominational doctrines to where you never need to consult God, just consult those trained in the seminaries & the people who study the theologians because you are told that you can't trust yourself to hear God anyway. Preachers dare tell you in numbered lists how to talk to your own Father. All of God's gifts through Christ except for heaven are taken off of the table & are taught to only be earned through performance based self-righteousness.
While there is false teaching involved I am aiming at the man made structure that churches pattern themselves after & operate by. Unbiblical traditions replace God. Preachers identified as leaders take the place of Jesus/The Holy Spirit in practicality. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 23:10, "Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ." He also says there that we are all brothers & sisters. Having men as leaders in place of our sole leader, Christ, is "antichrist" by definition because antichrist literally means "instead of Christ." So all the churches that include the hierarchical authority of men over other men are antichrist because they replace Christ in practicality & usurp His sole authority. If false teachers didn't have false authority then people would be much less likely to believe their lies. But false authority with accurate teaching is still detrimental. The hierarchy itself creates false perceptions & unhealthy dependencies. Even with accurate preaching/teaching it still does this & has negative effects on people.
Preachers love to throw around the term "idol" to shame people but the truth is preachers & pastors are idols, churches are idols, not just tangentially but often officially, though not utterly blatant to some. What a miracle it is that God & His love has ever gotten to any of us!