“Going To Church”

It’s fairly common to hear people talk about “going to church” or about something that happened “at church” as if the church was confined to a specific place or time, rather than being the community of Jesus’ followers who have been saved by His blood.

Apparently though, this is not a recent problem. Hippolytus, a Church Father from Rome who lived in the third century, writes:
“It is not a place that is called church, not a house made of stones and earth…It is the holy assembly of those who live in righteousness.”
In a sense, it’s comforting to realize that, just as Ecclesiastes asserts, there really is nothing new under the sun.


Alex 12/10/10, 5:22 PM  

My father notoriously corrects anyone who refers to a physical locality as "church." Having been on the receiving end of that correction for most of my life, I'm glad he made the distinction, because beyond simply being correct it's a very important difference. God does not dwell in temples made by human hands.

James Clay Hendrix 12/26/10, 11:32 PM  

I don't know why, but I like that verse in Ecclesiastes. I think it's because the world seems so out of control and that scripture provides an assurance that even though it seems out of control, God has is in control and men of God have already, long before me, endured the evilness of the world.

Additionally, the concept of the church is agreeably misunderstood. This is surprising to me, because the concept of church is one of the most comforting things about being a Christian. No one else can remove you from the church. Admission to the church is controlled by God Himself and no matter where you are, when you find others in the church, you find extraordinary commonalities, trust, and family. Since the concept of church is awesome for all of those reasons, and more, I am always surprised that there is such misuse of the word and misunderstanding of the concept.

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