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Thread: What is the Church?

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    Premier Sponsor Peanut's Avatar
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    What is the Church?

    Question: "What is the church?"

    Answer:
    Many people today understand the church as a building. This is not a biblical understanding of the church. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building. Romans 16:5 says “… greet the church that is in their house.” Paul refers to the church in their house—not a church building, but a body of believers.
    ...the church is not a building or a denomination. According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ—all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Local churches are gatherings of members of the universal church. The local church is where the members of the universal church can fully apply the “body” principles of 1 Corinthians chapter 12: encouraging, teaching, and building one another up in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Agree, or disagree? In your personal definition, is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Savior of man required for one to be a member of "the Church"? Must one accept the Bible as the word of G-d in order to be a Christian by definition?

    Is there one whole and true Church, in your opinion? What defines it, if so?

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  2. #2
    I flunked typing coachgrrl's Avatar
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    In my family of origin The Church has and always will be The Catholic Church. I don't believe anyone religion has a exclusive contract on heaven or whatever you call it.

    I didn't really think it matter much to me, but after moving to the bible belt and dealing with my sister's megachurch beliefs, I guess it does.

    Of course I'm sure everyone else believes their church is The Church as well.

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    Moderator Shaena's Avatar
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    I am Catholic so the celebration of the Eucharist must take place in a sacred place, so yes the building itself that houses the Eucharist, is where we honor God.

    Of course, Catholic communion, statues of saints, etc.. create a whole debate on whether or not Catholics are really Christian's anyway! ;).

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    Full Sponsor maurinsky's Avatar
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    I was raised Catholic, so when I talk to anyone in my family about the church, that's the one I'm talking about. But I am not religious.

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    Full Sponsor RealCranky's Avatar
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    I'm an Episcopalian, and when we talk about "one holy, universal, catholic Church" we mean all Christians - all the people of God.

    I will say that many people confuse that with having a very nice building.

    I myself am very interested in "post-church theology" - what path does Christianity take in a post-Christian society?
    nesha ;-)


    Down with the Tsar!
    Time to storm the Winter Palace...

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    Premier Sponsor Peanut's Avatar
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    what path does Christianity take in a post-Christian society?
    Ooooo! Good idea for a thread spin-off!

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    Real American™ nam's Avatar
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    It depends on cintext. The Church, theologically, is the whole body and its members in communion in the body of Christ. Churches are also buildings where we worship. Nonetheless, most of the time I use the phrase "the Church" I mean its whole body and members.
    If you are not willing to fall flat on your face, then the only thing you will have is a pretty face.

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    Full Sponsor TapToTalk's Avatar
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    I'll let you members of your new age messianic religious cult hash it out.

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    Premier Sponsor Peanut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapToTalk View Post
    I'll let you members of your new age messianic religious cult hash it out.
    LOL!

    As a non-Christian, what is "The Church" to you?

  10. #10
    Full Sponsor TapToTalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanut View Post
    As a non-Christian, what is "The Church" to you?
    That big fancy building where the goyim go to pray on Sundays.

    But, seriously, Judaism whose only requirement for assembling to pray is 10 Jewish adults (men, if you're Orthodox). That's called a minyan and can happen anywhere. It's not really a top-down, centrally controlled religion so every Rabbi that leads a congregation is the communal leader. There really is no requirement to have one.

    Each of the movements: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, etc. are variants that have their own central body which have schools and law interpretation bodies, but, rabbis some autonomy within the law.

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