Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate.  Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.  For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.

 
 
 

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Thought for the Morning
3-19

"Church"

Pastor John

Me again. Can I have some more info on the word "church"? Thanks.

Manuel

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Hi Manuel.

The word "church" comes from the Greek word, "kuriakon", which means, "house of a lord". It was used by ancient Greeks to refer to any building that was dedicated to any god they worshiped, whether it be Zeus, Hera, Apollo, or any other. Any heathen temple was correctly referred to as a "church". In modern usage, it is the same. A Jewish temple is a church; a Muslim minaret is a church; a Buddhist temple is a church; a Christian house of worship is a church; etc.

No writer of the New Testament used that noun (kuriakon). It is not found anywhere in the New Testament Greek. The Greek word that Christian scholars have translated as "church" (ekklesia) is actually the word for "assembly" or "congregation" or "called-out ones".

King James commanded his translators to use the word "church" because the powerful churchmen of his day wanted him to do that, and he needed their political support. Some godly men, such as William Tyndall, refused to use "church" in their translations because of its association with Catholicism and the Church of England. He was arrested, condemned, and executed for daring to do such a thing.

Were not the word "church" so closely associated with the church religion of Christianity, it might not be all that bad as a choice when describing the household of faith. After all, we are "the temple of God", and that makes our bodies a kind of "building dedicated to a lord". But after all these centuries of being polluted by Christian ties, the word "church" carries too much ungodly baggage to be appropriate as a reference to the saints of God.

I hope that helps you understand why we have rejected the word "church" as useful for communicating the pure and holy faith of Christ Jesus. God is calling His people to come out of church religion and to serve Him in spirit and in truth, and abandoning our former attachment to "church" is a part of coming out.

May God help us do that, Manuel, with all our hearts, so that we may find mercy in His eyes in the Day of Judgment.

Pastor John

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