“He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Proverbs 13:20)
So, it used to be that people had a group of friends from Church because they had things in common: their faith, their values, their heritage. You could count on your church crew to keep you in check when you felt like you were doing something, or at least, tempted to do, something wrong. In fact, often when someone was doing something “wrong”, that person tended to be evasive of the church group – or the church itself – in order to avoid being confronted with opposition. This is not because the person was necessarily afraid the people would say things, but more because he knew that he was not walking the same road as those friends or that he was deviating from what was taught in that building.