A church (or local church) is a religious organization or congregation that meets in a particular location. Many are formally organized, with constitutions and by-laws, maintain offices, are served by clergy or lay leaders, and, in nations where this is permissible, often seek non-profit corporate status.
- Sed non solum locum Ecclesiae zelare debemus, sed hanc quoque interiorem in nobis domum Dei; ne sit domus negotiationis, aut spelunca latronum.
- When I faced a congregation, it began to take all the strength I had not to stammer, not to curse, not to tell them to throw away their Bibles and get off their knees and go home and organize, for example, a rent strike. When I watched all the children, their copper, brown, and beige faces staring up at me as I taught Sunday school, I felt that I was committing a crime in talking about the gentle Jesus, in telling them to reconcile themselves to their misery on earth in order to gain the crown of eternal life. Were only Negroes to gain this crown? Was Heaven, then, to be merely another ghetto? Perhaps I might have been able to reconcile myself even to this if I had been able to believe that there was any loving-kindness to be found in the haven I represented. But I had been in the pulpit too long and I had seen too many monstrous things. I don’t refer merely to the glaring fact that the minister eventually acquires houses and Cadillacs while the faithful continue to scrub floors and drop their dimes and quarters and dollars into the plate. I really mean that there was no love in the church. It was a mask for hatred and self-hatred and despair. The transfiguring power of the Holy Ghost ended when the service ended, and salvation stopped at the church door.
- [C]hurches have tended to become conditioned more by our culture than by our Christ. So often our churches merely reflect the standards, the folkways, and the mores of the community, rather than the ethical standards of Christianity
- Henlee Hulix Barnette, "Southern Baptists: Pronouncement and Practice", as quoted in Report on Slavery and Racism in the History of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (December 2018), by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, p. 41
- Where God hath a temple, the devil will have a chapel.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section IV. Memb. 1. Subsec. I
- The word CHURCH had never any charm for me, in the mouths of those who made the most noise about it; for I could not perceive that they gave any other distinguishing proof of their regard for the thing than a frequent use of the word, like a spell to enchant weak minds; and a persecuting zeal against Dissenters and against those real friends of the Church who would not admit that persecution was agreeable to its doctrine. And as to Affairs of State: Many of these Churchmen seem to me to have no fixed principles at all, having endeavored during the last reign, to undermine that very government which they had contributed to establish.
- "What is a church?" Let Truth and reason speak,
They would reply, "The faithful, pure and meek,
From Christian folds, the one selected race,
Of all professions, and in every place."
- George Crabbe, The Borough (1810), Letter II, line 1.
- What is a church?—Our honest sexton tells,
'Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.
- George Crabbe, The Borough (1810), Letter II, line 11.
- Habere non potest Deum patrem qui ecclesiam non habet matrem.
- No one can have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother.
- Cyprian, De Ecclesiae Catholicae Unitate (AD 251), ch. vi.
- Salus extra ecclesiam non est.
- There is no salvation outside the Church.
- Cyprian, Letter to Jubaianus (AD 256), Letter 73
- The church in the spiritual and theological sense always contains a current that is hostile to political power, that is revolutionary and anarchical. But this is not the current that society as a whole, and especially the political authorities, recognize as the church.
- Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity (1982), G. Bromiley, trans. (1986), p. 132.
- The careful student of history will discover that Christianity has been of very little value in advancing civilization, but has done a great deal toward retarding it. ... The church and civilization are antipodal; one means authority, the other freedom; one means conservatism, the other progress; one means the rights of God as interpreted by the priesthood, the other the rights of humanity as interpreted by humanity. Civilization advances by free thought, free speech, free men.
- Matilda Joslyn Gage : ‘Church, Woman and State’, New York, 1893. reprinted by Voice of India, New Delhi, 1997 p. 539-540
- The nere to the churche, the ferther from God.
- The nearer to the church, the farther from God.
- John Heywood Proverbs (1546) Part I, chapter 9.
- Unhappily, a love of walls has seized you; unhappily, the Church of God which you venerate exists in houses and buildings; unhappily, under these you find the name of peace. Is it doubtful that in these Antichrist will have his seat? Safer to me are mountains, and woods, and lakes, and dungeons, and whirlpools; since in these prophets, dwelling or immersed, did prophesy.
- ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, καὶ πύλαι Ἅιδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς.
- Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
- Why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell?
- Not even the church is so powerfully equipped to serve the public psychologically as is the motion picture company.
- William Moulton Marston as quoted in Henry W. Levy's, "Professor to Cure Scenarios with Wrong Emotional Content: Dabbled in Movies While at Harvard; Now Sought By Hollywood with Offer of Favorable Contract", New York University News January 1929; The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014) by Jill Lepore, p. 137.
- Είς μίαν, αγίαν, καθολικήν καί αποστολικήν Έκκλησίαν.
- Wir haben also als Missverständnis: … eine kirchliche Ordnung, mit Priesterschaft, Theologie, Cultus, Sakramenten; kurz, alles das, was Jesus von Nazareth bekämpft hatte. (Original: German)
- We therefore have a misunderstanding: ... a church order with priesthood, theology, cult and sacraments; shortly, everything Jesus of Nazareth fought against.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Nachlass, KSA 13: 11.
- In our time, when day by day mankind is being drawn closer together, and the ties between different peoples are becoming stronger, the Church examines more closely her relationship to non-Christian religions. In her task of promoting unity and love among men, indeed among nations, she considers above all in this declaration what men have in common and what draws them to fellowship.
- The first thing to be understood about a man like Jesus is that whatsoever the church that is bound to grow around such a man says about him, it is bound to be wrong. What the Christian church says about Christ cannot be true. In fact the Christian priest does not represent Christ at all. He is the same old rabbi in new garments, the same old rabbi who was responsible for Jesus murder.
- Osho, The Mustard Seed (1975)
- Jesus is a rebel, just as Buddha or Lao Tzu is. When the church starts establishing itself it starts destroying the rebelliousness of Jesus, Buddha, because rebellion cannot go with an establishment.
- Osho, The Mustard Seed (1975)
- It is imperative that the contrasts between Christianity and Jesus be clearly revealed and strongly emphasized. First, because the real significance of Jesus is obscured by the widespread belief that organized Christianity truly reflects his religion; and second, because it will be practically impossible to abolish giant evils while they are hallowed by the blessing of the churches. As long as ministers and laymen labour under the delusion that contemporary Christianity is the same religion that Jesus practised they will remain immunized against his way of life and will lack the vision and power to overthrow entrenched iniquity.
- Kirby Page, Jesus or Christianity (1929), p. 2.
- All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
- Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason (1793), Part I.
- Who builds a church to God, and not to Fame,
Will never mark the marble with his Name.
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle III, line 285.
- Guardini rejected Soren Kierkegaard's view that theonomy requires a wholly private act of faith. Although he drew on Kierkegaard's thought, he could not accept the Danish philosopher's devaluation of Christian beliefs communal aspect. Guardini maintained that "a person goes to the Father only through Christ, and one sees Christ properly only within the space of the Church as oriented by the Holy Spirit." But he immediately added, "Of course, the Church is not identical with a single part of the hierarchy, or with a particular theological school, or with a conventional way of doing things. It is much more than this; beyond every individual part, there opens the experience of the Church's totality and essence." In sum, if human beings intend to become whole persons, they must participate in the community of believers.
- Robert A. Krieg, Romano Guardini's Theology Of The Human Person, Theological Studies 59 (1998) P. 471
- If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him?
If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future?
If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers?
If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him?
If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses?
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism (1811)
- The Churches as Churches have always been and cannot fail to be institutions not only alien to, but directly hostile towards, Christ's teaching.
- The Churches as Churches—as institutions affirming their own infallibility—are anti-Christian institutions. Between the Churches as such and Christianity, not only is there nothing in common except the name, but they are two quite opposite and opposing principles. The one represents pride, violence, self-assertion, immobility and death: the other humility, penitence, meekness, progress, and life.
- There is no family in America without a clock, and consequently there is no fair pretext for the usual Sunday medley of dreadful sounds that issues from our steeples.
- Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad (1880), Ch. 36.
- The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little, by way of example.
- Mark Twain, A Tramp Aboard (1880), Ch. 36.
- I was afraid of a united Church; it makes a mighty power, the mightiest conceivable, and then when it by and by gets into selfish hands, as it is always bound to do, it means death to human liberty, and paralysis to human thought
- I have sometimes told myself that if only there were a notice on church doors forbidding entry to anyone with an income above a certain figure, and a low one, I would be converted at once.
- Simone Weil, Letter to Georges Bernanos (1938), in Seventy Letters, as translated by Richard Rees (Wipf and Stock: 1965), p. 105
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 117-119.
- The nearer the church, the further from God.
- Bishop Andrews, Sermon on the Nativity before James I (1622). Proverb quoted by Fuller, Worthies, II. 5. (Ed. 1811).
- To Kerke the narre, from God more farre.
- As quoted by Spenser, 'Shepherd's Calendar (July, 1579). Douse Manuscript, 52. 15 (1450). See Murray, N.E.D. Used by Swift, Legion Club. Note. Heywood, Proverbs. Given also in Ray as French. Known to Germans and Italians.
- Where Christ erecteth his church, the divell in the same church-yarde will have his chappell.
- George Bancroft, Anti-Puritan Sermon (Feb. 9, 1588). Martin Luther, Von den Conciliis und Kirchen, Werke, 23. 378. (Ed. 1826). Melbancke, Philotimus. Sig. E. 1. Charles Aleyn, Historie of that Wise and Fortunate Prince Henrie (1638), p. 136. Dr. John Dove, The Conversion of Salomon. Attributed to Erasmus by Franz Horn, Die Poesie und Beredsamkeit der Deutschen, Book I, p. 35. (1822). William Roe, Christian Liberty (1662), p. 2.
- Oh! St. Patrick was a gentleman
Who came of decent people;
He built a church in Dublin town,
And on it put a steeple.
- Henry Bennett, St. Patrick Was a Gentleman.
- Pour soutenir tes droits, que le ciel autorise,
Abîme tout plutôt; c'est l'esprit de l'Église.
- To support those of your rights authorized by Heaven, destroy everything rather than yield; that is the spirit of the Church.
- Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, Lutrin, Chant I. 185.
- An instinctive taste teaches men to build their churches in flat countries with spire steeples, which, as they cannot be referred to any other object, point as with silent finger to the sky and stars.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Friend.
- Whenever God erects a house of prayer
The devil always builds a chapel there;
And 'twill be found, upon examination,
The latter has the largest congregation.
- Daniel Defoe, True Born Englishman, Part I, line 1. Note in first Edition says it is an English proverb. Omitted in later editions.
- God never had a church but there, men say,
The devil a chapel hath raised by some wiles,
I doubted of this saw, till on a day
I westward spied great Edinburgh's Saint Giles.
- William Drummond of Hawthornden, Posthumous Poems, A Proverb.
- Die Kirch' allein, meine lieben Frauen,
Kann ungerechtes Gut verdauen.
- It is common for those that are farthest from God, to boast themselves most of their being near to the Church.
- Matthew Henry, Commentaries, Jeremiah VII.
- No sooner is a temple built to God but the devil builds a chapel hard by.
- George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651).
- When once thy foot enters the church, be bare.
God is more there than thou: for thou art there
Only by his permission. Then beware,
And make thyself all reverence and fear.
- George Herbert, The Temple, The Church Porch.
- Well has the name of Pontifex been given
Unto the Church's head, as the chief builder
And architect of the invisible bridge
That leads from earth to heaven.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Golden Legend, V.
- In that temple of silence and reconciliation where the enmities of twenty generations lie buried, in the Great Abbey, which has during many ages afforded a quiet resting-place to those whose minds and bodies have been shattered by the contentions of the Great Hall.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, Warren Hastings.
- A beggarly people,
A church and no steeple.
- Attributed to Malone by Swift. See Prior's Life (1860). 381. Of St. Ann's Church, Dublin.
- It was founded upon a rock.
- Matthew, VII. 25.
- As like a church and an ale-house, God and the devell, they manie times dwell neere to ether.
- There can be no church in which the demon will not have his chapel.
- Cardinal Paleotti, according to �. H. Digby, Compitum, Volume II, p. 297.
- Non est de pastu ovium quæstio, sed de lana.
- It is not about the pasture of the sheep, but about their wool.
- Pope Pius II.
- No silver saints, by dying misers giv'n,
Here brib'd the rage of ill-requited heav'n;
But such plain roofs as Piety could raise,
And only vocal with the Maker's praise.
- Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard, line 137.
- I never weary of great churches. It is my favourite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.
- Robert Louis Stevenson, Inland Voyage.
- Boni pastoris est tondere pecus non deglubere.
- A good shepherd shears his flock, not flays them.
- Suetonius. Attributed by him to Tiberius Cæsar, Life 32.
- The itch of disputation will break out
Into a scab of error.
- Rowland Watkyns, The new Illiterate late Teachers.
- See the Gospel Church secure,
And founded on a Rock!
All her promises are sure;
Her bulwarks who can shock?
Count her every precious shrine;
Tell, to after-ages tell,
Fortified by power divine,
The Church can never fail.
- Charles Wesley, Scriptural, Psalm XLVIII, Stanza 9.
- Disputandi pruritus ecclesiarum scabies.
- The itch of disputing is the scab of the churches.
- Sir Henry Wotton, A Panegyric to King Charles. (Inscribed on his tomb).