What is a church?

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
NAB
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Re: What is a church?

Post by NAB »

-fluffy- wrote:
NAB wrote:...a little sign at your property line works wonders. It can neutrally say "NO SOLICITING", or more specifically "NO JEHOVA'S WITNESSES", or even both.


I have been considering one that reads "Attention Uninvited Callers: I will be happy to listen to what you have to say, but my time is not without value. There is a $20.00 permission fee payable in advance, and the cost for my attention is $10.00 per minute with a five minute minimum, also payable in advance.


LOL fluffy. I love it!!! Another one is "If you are uninvited or unexpected, you are also unwelcome".

Nab
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zzontar
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Re: What is a church?

Post by zzontar »

Nibs wrote:I thought this was interesting, and sort of fit the discussion here.

LONDON -- Famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking finds no room for heaven in his vision of the cosmos.

In an interview published Monday in The Guardian newspaper, the 69-year-old says the human brain is a like a computer that will stop working when its components fail.

He says: "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

In "Grand Design," a book published last year, Hawking had declared that it was "not necessary to invoke God ... to get the universe going."

Hawking is nearly totally paralyzed by motor neurone disease, diagnosed when he was 21.

Hawking says he is not afraid of death, but adds: "I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first."


"His" brain would stop working... the question would be who or what is "he"?
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Thinktank
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Re: What is a church?

Post by Thinktank »

The bible says 'What has light to do with darkness?'

What that means is, I spend almost all my time with church people,
and the 'heathens' on this forum who are criticizing church - I would avoid
like the plague. The same way light avoids darkness. Jehovah's Witnesses
only associate with themselves - they also avoid the heathens like the plague.

So I was going to church every Sunday, and prayer meetings at houses every Friday,
and then the time came for me to get the boot. JWs also sometimes have to leave the
church for different reasons - and that's when the 'shunning' begins. If a JW leaves
the group, all the people who were 'light' for maybe ten years suddenly consider the person
who left the church to be horrible darkness - AND THEY WON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THAT PERSON.
When I left the church, not ONE person
came to ask me why I left. No one from the church even came to talk to me - so I think
all churches operate similar - they all have their own form of shunning.

Yup, it's a little bit traumatizing to be shunned by the people who you believed were the 'light' for three years.
And then you do a lot of thinking for yourself, and you come to the conclusion church is a sort of a good thing,
with some major defects. All churches.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lst ... u-eng.html

This is government website that lists incomes of churches. :spinball:
WHEN WILL WESTERN WAR PIGS WIND THIS UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE DOWN?????????????

BBC says tens of thousands of Ukrainians have died and Zelensky needs hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to replace them. Yes. BBC is just that dumb.
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Re: What is a church?

Post by I Think »

Religions of all stripes, are simply another means of exercising control over their adherents. The chump in the pulpit, says he has an inside line on what his imaginary friend in his imaginary valhalla, thinks and does. Gimme a break, take your imaginary friend to imaginary tea parties in the garden with a six year old to pour the tea.
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cutter7
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Re: What is a church?

Post by cutter7 »

Thinktank wrote:The bible says 'What has light to do with darkness?'

What that means is, I spend almost all my time with church people,
and the 'heathens' on this forum who are criticizing church - I would avoid
like the plague. The same way light avoids darkness. Jehovah's Witnesses
only associate with themselves - they also avoid the heathens like the plague.

So I was going to church every Sunday, and prayer meetings at houses every Friday,
and then the time came for me to get the boot. JWs also sometimes have to leave the
church for different reasons - and that's when the 'shunning' begins. If a JW leaves
the group, all the people who were 'light' for maybe ten years suddenly consider the person
who left the church to be horrible darkness - AND THEY WON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THAT PERSON.
When I left the church, not ONE person
came to ask me why I left. No one from the church even came to talk to me - so I think
all churches operate similar - they all have their own form of shunning.

Yup, it's a little bit traumatizing to be shunned by the people who you believed were the 'light' for three years.
And then you do a lot of thinking for yourself, and you come to the conclusion church is a sort of a good thing,
with some major defects. All churches.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lst ... u-eng.html

This is government website that lists incomes of churches. :spinball:


I have friends who are jw's I've hung out with them and I've seen them shun one of their ex members. The reason they shun their ex members I was told is that the member knows the truth on how to live but chooses to live against it. They did not seem to have a problem with me according to them I did not know better.
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fluffy
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Re: What is a church?

Post by fluffy »

Nibs wrote:Religions of all stripes, are simply another means of exercising control over their adherents.


I would agree with you to a point, but hesitate to paint with such wide brush-strokes. There are groups that endorse the use of spiritual beliefs as a means for members to exercise control over themselves, quite a different thing than what you suggest.
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coffeeFreak
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Re: What is a church?

Post by coffeeFreak »

Unfortunately, it seems for the most part Castanet is not the place for serious discussion of religion. Don't ask me why, but after a couple years of participation in this Group, IMO the “Religion & Spiritual” thread seems to be the winner for derailment and off topic comments (and I must admit, I too have participated in derailing a few self-righteous so-called Christians).

Thinktank, I’m not sure what "Church" you are coming out of, but regardless, it can be a difficult experience. In any case, you will likely need some time and even some counsel to sort out the feelings. It has taken our family several years to "recover", so to speak, from a traumatic event as a result of “good” christians, and even now there are certain individuals in this town I struggle not to slander, but such is the beast of religious abuse.

Religion (Christianity in this case) seems to have a special place for causing pain and suffering, I suppose because of its extreme dichotomous message of: Jesus loves you unquestioningly vs you are evil, a heathen, condemned, hell-bound if you don’t follow our interpretation of God’s laws.

But, for what it’s worth here are my two cents worth: as long as I carry anger or resentment towards that person, place or situation, the origin of that source has control over me. As long as contempt rises up within me when I think of “the church” and those certain (%$#) individuals, I am not free. Of course in a perfect world I would be free by now, but I obviously I continue to struggle, as you too will find yourself doing; this is and has been one of the more difficult challenges I have experienced in my life.

Here is a quote by Angelou Maya that really speaks loudly to me: "i can be changed by what happens to me. but i refuse to be reduced by it". So Thinktank, please don’t fall to their level, rise above it and whatever you do, “refuse to be reduced by it” and them!!
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Re: What is a church?

Post by I Think »

-fluffy- wrote:There are groups that endorse the use of spiritual beliefs as a means for members to exercise control over themselves, quite a different thing than what you suggest.


I agree that some Buddhists and Yogis and others may work towards self control, but I consider these as philosophies rather than religions. Though some Buddhist sects are off in religion-ville.
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eMeM
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Re: What is a church?

Post by eMeM »

I find it interesting that this thread is discussing the church yet there is NOT ONE word from the bible. If you want to know what the Church is you might want to ask God where his church is rather than ask a bunch of people that have various ideas and opinions.

Jesus Christ said, "I will build My church, and the gates of Hades [the grave] shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). Which church did Jesus build, and what happened to it?
What happened to the Church that Jesus Christ said He would build? Did it adapt and change with the times through progressive revelation? Did it veer "off the track" and need to undergo a reformation at the hands of such men as Martin Luther and John Calvin? Or, has there been a body of believers, down through the centuries, continuing to believe and practice the same doctrines Jesus Christ and the first-century Apostles taught?

When we look at the story of the mainstream, professing Christian church throughout the centuries, it appears to be a vastly different church from the one described in the pages of your New Testament. In the book of Acts we find that God's Church celebrated "Jewish" holy days (Acts 2:1; 13:14, 42, 44; 18:21), talked about the return of Jesus Christ to judge the world (Acts 3:20–21; 17:31) and believed in the literal establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth (Acts 1:3, 6; 28:23, ).
Further reading on God's Kingdom:
Rev 5:10 has made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on earth.
Rev 11:15 the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ and he shall reign forever and ever.
Zech 14:9 and the Lord shall be king over all the earth

If you really want to answer the questions you have about God, Jesus and the Church you need to take God's word for it - not some man's opinion. If you're not interested in what God has to say then you will be easily led astray - and into the wrong church!
Last edited by eMeM on May 18th, 2011, 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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averagejoe
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Re: What is a church?

Post by averagejoe »

The first Church I would assume, would have been the stone where Jacob used it as a pillow and had his vision of the future of Isrealite people. It happened in Bethel Palistine. The next morning Jacob stood the stone on end as pillar and annointed the stone. The Stone in ancient times was called Stone of Bethel. It followed the Israelite people ever since. Bethel meaning House of God! You will notice driving around that Bethel is used in some of the churches around town.
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Thinktank
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Re: What is a church?

Post by Thinktank »

eMeM wrote:..... you might want to ask God where his church is rather than ask a bunch of people .....



Do you mean ask God, as in Awake magazine printed in New York?
Do you mean ask God as in the Pope?
Do you mean ask God as in Pastor Dave?
Do you mean ask God as in Billy Graham?

Anyway - I suppose everyone will have to decide for themselves what is a church.



.
WHEN WILL WESTERN WAR PIGS WIND THIS UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE DOWN?????????????

BBC says tens of thousands of Ukrainians have died and Zelensky needs hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to replace them. Yes. BBC is just that dumb.
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eMeM
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Re: What is a church?

Post by eMeM »

Thinktank wrote:
eMeM wrote:..... you might want to ask God where his church is rather than ask a bunch of people .....



Do you mean ask God, as in Awake magazine printed in New York?
Do you mean ask God as in the Pope?
Do you mean ask God as in Pastor Dave?
Do you mean ask God as in Billy Graham?

Anyway - I suppose everyone will have to decide for themselves what is a church.



.


My apologies if I wasn't clear. When I said "ask God" I literally meant ask God. If, as a Christian, you believe that the Bible is God's inspired word then LOOK THERE for your answer. The answer is there. If you don't believe that the bible is God's inspired word then you're just looking for the opinions of men. Interestingly, what God thinks of "man's opinion" is quite clear as well...
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coffeeFreak
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Re: What is a church?

Post by coffeeFreak »

Looks like "the church" can be defined in many ways if we are sticking to the Christian bible...

TheBible.net :: Church
How Does The Bible Describe The Church of Our Lord?
By Roger D. Campbell
Click for printable version
In Matthew 16:18 it is written that Jesus made this promise: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Jesus loved the church (Ephesians 5:25) and with His blood He purchased it (Acts 20:28). While people today speak about the church in many different ways, we are interested to know the answer to this question: In the Bible how is the church of the living God described?

The church is the KINGDOM OF GOD or the KINGDOM OF CHRIST. This shows its form of government, that it is a monarchy with the Lord Jesus as its King. Daniel prophesied of the church, saying that it was "a kingdom which shall never be destroyed" (Daniel 2:44). John the Baptizer, Jesus, the twelve apostles, and at least seventy other disciples all preached about the coming of the church, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." We noted above that Jesus promised to build His church (Matthew 16:19). In the next verse Jesus referred to the church as the kingdom, saying, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. . ." (16:19). Paul reminded the saints in Colosse that God had translated them into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13). Into which kingdom did He translated them? The church.

In the Bible the church is called THE HOUSE OF GOD. This shows that the church is the family of God, for He is the Father of all those (and only those!) who are in the church. Members of His church are His children, and the relationship that they have to one another is that of brothers and sisters (Galatians 3:26; 6:1). Paul directly called the church the house of God: "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). Those who are in Christ are in "the household of God" (Ephesians 2:19). Jesus Christ is the "high priest over the house of God" (Hebrews 10:21). But Jesus is head of and rules over the church. Thus, Jesus is the high priest over the church, which is God's house or family on earth.

The Bible also describes the church as THE BODY OF CHRIST. "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:22,23). Calling the church the body shows the unity of the church, with all members working together for the good of the body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Because Jesus is the head of the church, then it is to be in subjection to Him in all things (Ephesians 5:24). The Bible plainly says, "There is one body" (Ephesians 4:4), so since the body is the church, then there is one church that belongs to and was bought by Christ. How many spiritual bodies does Jesus have? Only one. How many churches? The answer is the same!

In the New Testament we also read of the church as THE TEMPLE OF GOD. The apostle Paul said that the church "groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord" (Ephesians 2:20). While the Holy Spirit said that the physical body of Christians is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), in the same epistle through Paul He said to all the church at Corinth, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you" (3:16)? He later again wrote to them, "Ye are the temple of the living God" (2 Corinthians 6:16). The church is thus God's temple. In the Old Testament, the temple was a place of worship, God's dwelling, and holiness. Today, acceptable worship is given to God only in the church. The church is not a physical building, but the kingdom of priests who offer up spiritual sacrifices to God by Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5). Today God dwells in the church (that is, in His children) (2 Corinthians 6:16). And, it is in the church that God's people are made holy or sanctified, acting as "obedient children" (1 Peter 1:14).

In other New Testament passages the God of heaven describes His church as a VINEYARD (Matthew 20:1,2), THE CHURCH OF GOD (1 Corinthians 1:2), and THE CHURCH OF CHRIST (Romans 16:16). When we speak about the true church of the Lord, let us be certain that we describe it or call it only in the same manner that the Lord Himself does in the Bible.

This item originally appeared in Truth #42; 14 January 1998

http://thebible.net/modules.php?name=Read&itemid=111&cat=4
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Thinktank
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Re: What is a church?

Post by Thinktank »

I suppose everyone reads 'house' in the bible, and assumes God wants a house.
A real physical house, and you go there once a week. But for me, I read 'house' and I think
of it like being a Vancovuer Canucks fan - I never go into their house, yet I'm still a Canucks fan.
I don't pay $400.00 for a playoff ticket, yet I'm still a Canucks fan. That's church to me - no house.
someone might say 'How can you be a Canucks fan if you never spent $thousands on a seasons ticket?'
I would say, 'If it was up to me, a percentage of playoff tickets would be given to the poor people, and players would
earn a quarter million dollars each, instead of seven million dollars. Right now, it's BIG MONEY, and everything
is towards making money. Just like the churches. I would change things. In the churches,
I would probably overturn the tables, and chase out the moneylenders.

but everyone will read their bible, and ask God, and each person will get a different answer.
It's not a problem. I don't try to tell people only my way is right. Yet, amazingly, each church
says they themselves are right.
WHEN WILL WESTERN WAR PIGS WIND THIS UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE DOWN?????????????

BBC says tens of thousands of Ukrainians have died and Zelensky needs hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to replace them. Yes. BBC is just that dumb.
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coffeeFreak
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Re: What is a church?

Post by coffeeFreak »

Thinktank wrote:...Just like the churches. I would change things. In the churches,
I would probably overturn the tables, and chase out the moneylenders.

but everyone will read their bible, and ask God, and each person will get a different answer.
It's not a problem. I don't try to tell people only my way is right. Yet, amazingly, each church
says they themselves are right.


Isn't that the truth Thinktank. Add to "each church", the many individuals within that church who have their own unique interpretation of the bible. IMO I don't believe Jesus would be welcome in too many church circles these days, let alone in the homes of his many so-called followers.

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