Hi Dan It's Larry from New Zealand here. I guess we have one thing in common bro and that is our age. I turned 75 last August. Anyway I have just read your post and want to say hi to you from the bottom of the world LOL.
My life has been quite a colorful one, I came to know Jesus when I was 32 years old and in jail doing time for drug dealing only C class though.
I left church attendance when I was about 16 having been raised in a catholic environment. When I got saved in jail it was a wonderful experience and encounter with Jesus, what I didn't realize at the time was that I still had the old legalistic mindset and so filtered all scripture I read through that. It has only been in the last 10 years that God has opened my heart to the gospel of grace. And only in the last few years to look at the church structure and system.
My heart truly weeps for the way things have been twisted as far as the church structure and system operates. The encouraging thing for me is that the lord down here in New Zealand is bringing reformation to both these areas. Like most things that the Lord does it isn't a quick thing but a gradual transition, but that's ok.
At this stage there are small house churches springing up everywhere.
Anyway just wanted to say hi and introduce ourselves to you my brother.