Sally lived on a planet called Clayth. Clayth had many religions, and ran pretty much how our Earth does, in reality.
One day, upon walking to her car in the grocery store parking lot, a smiling young girl approached her, and gave her a tract. Sally took the tract home, and read it after putting her groceries away. The tract said that God sent His Son to die on the cross to pay for her sins, and lead her in a salvation prayer. Sally leapt for joy. She recognized this was what was missing from her life.
The Spirit of God came to dwell within her the moment she believed. She called everyone she could think of, to share the good news of her salvation. That following Sunday, she attended the fellowship listed on the tract. Fellowships peppered the countryside where she lived. She had become a Holy Guildite, and longed to fellowship with other Holy Guildites, and learn as much about the God of her salvation as she could.
The gathering that morning was very interesting to her. She decided she needed to read the Holy Book of the Holy Guildites, revered as the written word of God Himself. Months passed, as she spent her Sundays in the gatherings, and every single day studying the holy book.
Samhain day was approaching. Before her salvation, Sally revered and celebrated Samhain. She was glad to be set free from that pagan holiday. It involved dressing in costumes, going door to door, and some families had feasts for their dead loved ones, and expected visits from ghosts. Sally knew she would no longer celebrate Samhain, because she read in the Holy Book how that would not be pleasing to God.
To her shock, her Holy Guild Fellowship Gathering place celebrated Samhain! They changed the name to a less pagan sounding name, but it was still celebrated around the same day, and basically the same way. She refused to partake, and brought her concerns to the elders of her local gathering. The elders berated her, and shamed her for making her fellow Guildites feel uncomfortable. The elders told her that she and they are in the world, and this is tradition, and is harmless.
Sally dug deeper than ever in the Holy Book that night, but still came to the conclusion that the Word is clear she is not to partake.
As winter set in full force, another pagan holiday Sally used to celebrate was upon her. She thought surely her Holy Guild Fellowship would not have anything to do with this one. This holiday was called Baalmas. It was a pagan mass holiday, in celebration of the adulterous, falsified "virgin" birth of the chief male pagan deity, born from the chief female deity. This birth was celebrated with fertility symbols, such as decorated trees (phallus and fertility/life cycle symbolism), wreaths (female womb symbol), and more.
She was beyond herself when she went to the weekly gathering and saw multiple decorated trees and wreaths dawning the Guild House. She brought her concerns to the elders, and was told that they changed the name of the holiday to Sonmas, and even though the Son of God's birthday was months ago, they celebrated it on the pagan deity's birthday, because that's what everyone was used to. They still celebrated it the same way as the pagans did, but changed the name of everything, into names that sounded like they came from the Holy Book.
Sally did not partake, and was kicked out of her local Guild House, for being "too judgmental."
It took months, but Sally found another Fellowship House that looked good to attend. She started attending it regularly in the spring. It was nearing another pagan holiday she used to celebrate, in honor of the female pagan deity, and the son of the female deity dying and supposedly coming back to life again. To her dismay, Sally's new Fellowship House celebrated the exact same holiday, except they changed the pagan mother deity into the Father God of the Holy Book, and changed the name of the male born pagan deity to the Son of God. Sally brought this problem to the attention of the elders. They berated her for being so "legalistic," and said they have freedom in the Son, and therefore can do whatever they wanted. They said that by celebrating these pagan holidays under Guildite names, more and more people have joined their Holy Guildite Fellowship.
Sally again tried to find a Fellowship House that followed the Holy Book ALL the time. She was saddened to find that most Fellowship Houses hardly looked different than the pagan temples she used to attend. Most of them had the obelisk phallic symbols attached to their buildings, but they changed the name to "steeples." Most of them taught pagan doctrine, which was at odds with the Holy Book, and the excuse was that they are in the world, and therefore this is how things are.
Sally reminded these people of the second half of the verse - 'we are in the world, but NOT OF IT.' She showed them Holy Book passage after passage, but they didn't care to listen. They thought they already knew it all. She also found many portions of the Holy Book not being kept at all. When brought to various elders' attention, they justified the disobedience to the Word by saying "that was for those days, not these days. It's different now."
While the above, vague story is pure fiction, I wish to use it to show a simple truth, and it is this:
Most churches are not Christian churches, but are a mix of Christianity and Paganism. If you take the color white (Christianity) and you mix in another color, such as orange (paganism) - you no longer have the color white (Christianity) do you? The steeples, the pews, some of the newer songs (not all), the new age Bible versions, the seeker friendly antics, the celebration of non-Christian, pagan holidays, such as Halloween, Easter, and "Christmas" are worldly pagan infiltrations in the church. The Bible says over and over again that Christians are to be set apart from the world, and not partake in these things that the heathen (pagan and unsaved/worldly) partake in.
Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. -Jeremiah 10:2-4
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. -1 Thessalonians 5:21-23
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. -John 17:16
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. -Romans 12:2
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. -2 Peter 2:20
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. -2 Timothy 2:20-21
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us -1 Corinthians 5:7