Religion has a strong element of “tribalism” in it. Beliefs help define who is in the group and who is outside it. This role of forming a group is so powerful it sometimes does not allow, or brings fear, when a group’s ideas might be wrong.
Suppose you are one very afraid of death. You find comfort in your church because it tells you you do not have to die. If you follow church instructions you are safe from death. Others in the church have the same fear and comfort.
Then, along comes a skeptic who says no one has ever come back from being dead. The skeptic says everyone should accept death as final.
The members of that church would find the skeptic uncomfortable. He has defined himself to be outside the tribe and though he may want acceptance he will not receive it. The church has defined who is in and who is outside. That is sociology.
Face to face encounters is a group help define it as well. Without them the relationships between members is different than with them. Church is a place to build these relationships. Unfortunately, church attendance continues to fall with about four out of five adults not attending.
As young people become increasingly tolerant of racial and sexual diversity the church needs to revise it rules on who can be let in. Diversity is taught from grade one in school. Condemnation by the church merely puts potential group members outside its sphere of acceptability.