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 steeplehouses

Dear Fellow SI participants,

I am visiting my family this week and we went to their evangeligal Lutheran Church for services this morning. In the first sentence of his sermon the minister stated that "yesterday I came to the church to do some work . . . "

He was refering to the building. This always bugs me because the people are the church and I think it is a slight to call the building the church. Growing up I found this to be a very common practice. In the old days Quakers derisively refered to these buildings as "steeplehouses." Quaker meeting houses have no adornments whatsoever and are as plain as can be because we want the center of worship to be God and not the adornments of the world. What do you all think of calling the building the 'church'?

Bub

 2005/5/22 16:25
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: steeplehouses

Thanks Bubba. I agree, it's a misnomer to call a building the church.

Quote:
Quaker meeting houses have no adornments whatsoever and are as plain as can be because we want the center of worship to be God and not the adornments of the world.



Perhaps we could learn a few things from the Quakers on this point.

The last building I attended was not so much a "steeplehouse" as much as it was a zigguraut in a strange land.

It was big and decorated like a Hilton, which I suppose should've made guests feel comfortable... but all of the electronic multimedia bells and whistles kept everyone busier then a beehive every Sunday morning. Each service felt like live theater...even with the 5 minute curtain call.

"Places everyone!"

I'm reading a fascinating book called "Blues People" that has a few chapters trying to describe African-American Christianity during slavery and the reconstruction. I like what they called the simple dirt floor one-room shacks they worshipped in.

"Praise Houses."

MC


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Mike Compton

 2005/5/22 17:17Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: steeplehouses

Some of us never use the word 'church' to describe a building, but the history of this is interesting.

The Greek word 'ekklesia' was translated 'congregation' by Tyndale because he knew that a 'church building' was not what the word 'ekklesia' meant. Tyndale used the word 'church' twice in the Acts to refer to heathen temples. King James specifically insisted that the word 'church' be put back into the translation which he commissioned.

The odd thing is that the English word 'church' DOES mean a building. It comes from kuriakon meaning 'belonging to the Lord' and was used from the time that Christendom designated buildings as 'the Lord's House' and hence kuriakon or 'church'.

So we have the odd situation that the people who call a building a 'church' are technically correct; it is our Bible translations which are wrong. However, this far down the road the best solution is to avoid the word altogether. Refer to the building as the 'meeting hall' and the people as the 'assembly' or congregation. Can we turn the world back four centuries? probably not.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/5/22 17:47Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Thanks Ron. Applying the term "church" to a building isn't a misnomer then! I never heard that before.

MC


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Mike Compton

 2005/5/22 18:51Profile









 Re:

quote

"So we have the odd situation that the people who call a building a 'church' are technically correct; it is our Bible translations which are wrong. However, this far down the road the best solution is to avoid the word altogether. Refer to the building as the 'meeting hall' and the people as the 'assembly' or congregation. Can we turn the world back four centuries? probably not."

Ron, whoa, hold on here. You've been telling me about how wrong i am in saying the bible is not inerrant for years now. Now you are telling me it is mistranslated, at least in part; and also saying that we cannot correct a past mistranslation because it has been part of the vernacular for four centuries. sounds like you are standing on both sides of the fence to me.

Bubbaguy

 2005/5/22 21:24
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Ron, whoa, hold on here. You've been telling me about how wrong i am in saying the bible is not inerrant for years now.


This shows how incapable you are of hearing anything that does to bond with that inner witness of yours; it has you thoroughly hog-tied. My position is well expressed in the [url=http://www.bible-researcher.com/chicago1.html]Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.[/url]

I don't recall ever using the word 'inerrant' in my conversations with you. It is your consistently 'errant' interpretation of them that I contend with.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/5/23 2:42Profile
Nasher
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Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

Hi, can anyone then "go" or "come" to church?


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Mark Nash

 2005/5/23 6:44Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

It depends on whether you are working from the Dictionary or the original Greek text. You cannot 'go' or 'come' to an 'assembly'; it is a group of people even when it is not 'assembled'. Here are two references to the word 'ekklesia' which sometimes take people by surprise.
Acts 19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
Acts 19:39 But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.
Acts 19:41 And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
the ekklesia was an 'elected' group of men who conducted the affairs of the city-states (towns gives the wrong idea). ek-klesia because they were called - kaleO out of -ek the rest of the city for a specific role.

The term ekklesia was already in current use as a description of the 'called out' people of Israel as we see in...
Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
Heb. 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
Understanding this will give added impact to the stunning statement of Christ in Matt. 16:18 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. To a group of men who thought that the 'ekklesia' already existed and that they were already part of it this must have been a mind-blowing statement expressed as it is in the future sense. "I will build..."


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Ron Bailey

 2005/5/23 8:22Profile





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