The church is in trouble-that's what they say anyways. The problem is most of what they call the church is not the church, and the church is not quite as in trouble as everybody thinks. As a matter of fact, the church today is absolutely beautiful-she's glorious, she's humble, she's broken, and she's confessing her sin. The problem is what everybody's calling the church today isn't the church. Basically, by and large, what's called the church today is nothing more than a bunch of unconverted church people with unconverted pastors.
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. 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.
Has God no living church? He has a church, but it is the church militant, not the church triumphant. We are sorry that there are defective members, that there are tares amid the wheat. . . . Although there are evils existing in the church, and will be until the end of the world, the church in these last days is to be the light of the world that is polluted and demoralized by sin. The church, enfeebled and defective, needing to be reproved, warned, and counseled, is the only object upon earth upon which Christ bestows His supreme regard.
Ellen G. White
The fact is, it is selfish for a church to not want to grow. A church that says, 'We've got enough people, we've got a nice fellowship. Our church is just the right size. We just need to focus on the members we already have.' That church is, in reality, actually saying, 'The rest of the world can go to hell. We don't care.
The purpose of the local church is not primarily to be one's church home or extended family, though it can be at times. And it is not to survive by obtaining more people for its support base. Its purpose is to invite people to be part of the true mission of the church. Reception into the church is only a threshold to involvement in its mission. The task of the church is not to accumulate attendees. The church is a school for developing agents of the new creation from among those who are the beneficiaries of God's grace.
Peter L. Steinke
Has God no living church? He has a church, but it is the church militant, not the church triumphant. We are sorry that there are defective members. . . . While the Lord brings into the church those who are truly converted, Satan at the same time brings persons who are not converted into its fellowship. While Christ is sowing the good seed, Satan is sowing the tares. There are two opposing influences continually exerted on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God...
Ellen G. White
In the urban community, the church doesn't just take people to Heaven; it feeds, clothes, and houses them. It teaches them how to read and gets them jobs. The church should be doing all that. What the government should be doing is freeing up the church and supporting the church, as long as it is providing social services.
And I profess still, that whatsoever the church of England (the church, I say, not every doctor) shall forbid me to say in matterof faith, I shall abstain from saying it, excepting this point, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for my sins. As for other doctrines, I think it unlawful, if the church define them, for any member of the church to contradict them.
The Church is full of Hypocrites!" Yes, it is, and thank God for that, it means the church is doing its job. The church wants hypocrites, adulterers, thieves, and more, for the church is where we receive healing. To condemn the church because it has failed members is to condemn a hospital because it's full of sick people. All are welcome; you are welcome here.
As you know, the separation of church and state is not subject to discussion or alteration. Under our Constitution no church or religion can be supported by the U.S. Government. We maintain freedom of religion so that an American can either worship in the church of his choice or choose to go to no church at all.
Richard M. Nixon
The doctrine of the Church cannot be fully understood unless it is tested by mind and feelings, by intellect and emotions, by every power of the investigator. Every Church member is expected to understand the doctrine of the Church intelligently. There is no place in the Church for blind adherence.
John Andreas Widtsoe
A church that does not exist to reclaim heathenism, to fight evil, to destroy error, to put down falsehood, a church that does not exist to take the side of the poor, to denounce injustice and to hold up righteousness, is a church that has no right to be. Not for yourself, O church, do you exist, any more than Christ existed for Himself.
But the judgement of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people who disappointments with the church has turned into outright disgust.
Martin Luther King Jr.
A healthy church is not a church that's perfect and without sin. It has not figured everything out. Rather, it's a church that continually strives to take God's side in the battle against the ungodly desires and deceits of the world, our flesh, and the devil. It's a church that continually seeks to conform itself to God's Word.
It is possible to evangelize the world in this generation, if the Church will but do her duty. The trouble is not with the heathen. A dead Church will prevent it, if it is prevented. Why should it not be accomplished? God will have all men to be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth. The resources of the Church are boundless. Let the will of the Church be brought into line with the will of God, and nothing will be found to be impossible. May God grant it!
My whole life has been based on two principles: the love of the Church to which I am united, and the love of my country, which I adore. If I do not care whether I am sentenced to ten years imprisonment or to be shot, it is not because I am a fanatic... Since I joined the Catholic Church my sole object has been to reconcile my country to that Church which I believe to be the One True Church.
I call this my church house trilogy. Souls' Chapel really was music from the Mississippi Delta, which to me is a church within itself. The Delta is the church of American Roots music. The Badlands is a cathedral without a top on it. And the Ryman has been called the Mother Church of Country Music, but to me it's the Mother Church of American Music. If you can think it up, it's been done there. In my mind, this is kind of a spiritual odyssey as much as anything else, and I had the settings of three churches to make it in.
At this time of crisis we cannot be concerned solely with ourselves, withdrawing into loneliness, discouragement and a sense of powerlessness in the face of problems. Please do not withdraw into yourselves! This is a danger: we shut ourselves up in the parish, with our friends, within the movement, with the like-minded... but do you know what happens? When the Church becomes closed, she becomes an ailing Church, she falls ill! That is a danger. . . .A Church closed in on herself is the same, a sick Church.
Hence the vocation of the Church of Christ in the world, in political conflict and social strife, is inherently eschatological. The Church is the embassy of the eschaton in the world. The church is the image of what the world is in its essential being. The Church is the trustee of the society which the world, not subjected to the power of death, is to be on that last day when the world is fulfilled in all things in God.
Those who find no humor in faith are probably those who find the church a refuge for their own black way of looking at life, although I think many of us find the church a refuge for a lot of our personality faults. Those of us, for example, who never learned to dance feel that the church is an ideal place for us if we can find a church that doesn't believe in dancing. Then we can get away with never having learned how to dance. You can carry this in all sorts of directions and see that the church is a refuge for what is really a 'flaw' in your own makeup.
Charles M. Schulz
The Head and the body are Christ wholly and entirely. The Head is the only begotten Son of God, the body is His Church; the bridegroom and the bride, two in one flesh. All who dissent from the Scriptures concerning Christ, although they may be found in all places in which the Church is found, are not in the Church; and again all those who agree with the Scriptures concerning the Head, and do not communicate in the unity of the Church, are not in the Church
While we destroyed the Centre Party, we have not only brought thousands of priests back into the Church, but to millions of respectable people we have restored their faith in their religion and in their priests. The union of the Evangelical Church in a single Church for the whole Reich, the Concordat with the Catholic Church, these are but milestones on the road which leads to the establishment of a useful relation and a useful co operation between the Reich and the two Confessions.
I was baptized Episcopalian when I was maybe two years old and we went to an Episcopalian church. When we moved to Georgia, we started going to a Lutheran church and I fell in love with the church there - Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Douglasville, Georgia. I really have a home there.
Exporting Church employees to Latin America masks a universal and unconscious fear of a new Church. North and South American authorities, differently motivated but equally fearful, become accomplices in maintaining a clerical and irrelevant Church. Sacralizing employees and property, this Church becomes progressively more blind to the possibilities of Sacralizing person and community.
the Twelve Apostles are the most evident sign of Jesus' will regarding the existence and mission of his Church, the guarantee that between Christ and the Church there is no opposition: despite the sins of the people who make up the Church, they are inseparable. Therefore, a slogan that was popular some years back, 'Jesus yes, Church no, ' is totally inconceivable with the intention of Christ. This individualistically chosen Jesus is an imaginary Jesus.
Pope Benedict XVI
the Twelve Apostles are the most evident sign of Jesus' will regarding the existence and mission of his Church, the guarantee that between Christ and the Church there is no opposition: despite the sins of the people who make up the Church, they are inseparable. Therefore, a slogan that was popular some years back, 'Jesus yes, Church no,' is totally inconceivable with the intention of Christ. This individualistically chosen Jesus is an imaginary Jesus.
Pope Benedict XVI
Growing up in New Orleans, my mom and dad were churchgoers. I would go to church with them. Also, I was going to a Catholic school so I had a fascination with the Catholic Church mainly because, in my mind, (their services) didn't take as long. I was bouncing in between my mom's Baptist church, which was called Second Zion Baptist, and going to a Catholic Church.
Baptism does not profit a man outside unity with the Church ... For many heretics also possess this Sacrament but not the fruits of salvation ... The benefits which flow from Baptism are necessarily fruits which belong to the true Church alone. Children Baptized in other communions cease to be members of the Church when, after reaching the age of reason, they make formal profession of heresy, as, for example, by receiving communion in a non-Catholic Church.
We have to avoid the spiritual sickness of a self-referentia l church. It's true that when you get out into the street, as happens to every man and woman, there can be accidents. However, if the church remains closed in on itself, self-referentia l, it gets old. Between a church that suffers accidents in the street, and a church that's sick because it's self-referentia l, I have no doubts about preferring the former.
The Church of Christ is constituted in two orders, the clergy and the people, the one having the care of the Church that all may be ruled for the salvation of souls; the other contains kings, princes, and nobles who have to carry on secular government that all things may lead to the peace and unity of the Church.
Religion is not the hero of the day, but the zero. In any exposition of the products of brains, the Sunday-School takes the booby prize. . . . Man has asked for truth and the Church has given him miracles. He has asked for knowledge, and the Church has given him theology. He has asked for facts, and the Church has given him the Bible. This foolishness should stop. The Church has nothing to give man that has not been in cold storage for two thousand years. Anything would become stale in that time.
The world could not long ignore a holy church. The church is not despised because it is holy: it is despised because it is not holy enough. There is not enough difference between the people inside the church and those outside to be impressive. A church in which saints were as common as now they are rare would convict the world, if only by contrast. Sanctity cannot be ignored. Even a little bit is potent. So far from the gates of hell prevailing against it, it hammers on their triple steel.
The Bible is big in my teaching. It's a wonder the ACLU didn't get after me pretty good. I really kept thinking they would. I took my boys to church. I took my football team to church. I only did it two times a year. Before I signed a kid, I'd write the parents and I'd tell that parent we were gong to take your son to church twice.
As for the general view that the Church was discredited by the War-they might as well say that the Ark was discredited by the Flood. When the world goes wrong, it proves rather that the Church is right. The Church is justified, not because her children do not sin, but because they do.
The church has contributed nothing to civilization. It has progressed somewhat, and it has become a little more decent, in reflection of the movements of civilization that have taken place outside of the church and usually in the face of the strong opposition of the church. But the church has always resisted the process of civilization. It has struggled to the last ditch, by fair means and foul, to preserve as long as it could the vestiges of ancient and medieval theology, with all the puerile moralities and harsh customs and medieval styles of belief.
The Church is always in trouble because the Church walks into the trouble in which mankind is trying to resolve itself. There are a lot of areas that need to be addressed. If we were perfect we wouldn't be the Church. I think it's the imperfections that allow people to trust that you're working (toward) something.
I do not like a high-organized church. I think that as soon as the congregation reaches a level of one hundred or so people, it is time to build a new church. As soon as the congregation gets to the point where you are not on fairly intimate terms with every other person in that church, then you have become a theater where people can attend services. I do not think you can attend a church service. Service is not something which is there to be viewed as if it were a play or a movie.
Charles M. Schulz
The full Christian experience, however, is not an individual experience which may be isolated from all else; it is, unconditionally, an experience within the context of the Church. It is 'a personal history which is imbedded in the greater history of the Church - a spiritual becoming which is incarnate and is lived within the Church's own process of becoming. It is the effort to develop what has been given, to discover what is hidden, the effort to attain to oneself by attaining, though the Church and within her, to the mystery of Christ, the Saviour'.
Hans Urs von Balthasar
It's not necessarily a church theme and it's not really about church. I like my album themes to be metaphors because it gives me the freedom to speak about something else that's going on in my life, so the Born Sinner thing is not about church, it's not even about religion. It's using that as canvas to get other messages across and that's what the album will be.
When I was growing up, I grew up in church--my father was a pastor--so when I was growing up in Trinidad, I'd close all the windows in the church and go in the church every day after school and get a little microphone and pretend all these people were in the pews, and I would sing to them.
I tell my christian relatives that "churchianity" is the central reason the church is not teeming with young people. The hypocrisy within the church is not concealed from this growing, informed generation. The arrogance among church goers is unnerving, Jesus was such a humble individual to begin with, he did not discriminate.
The church as we know it today seems a million miles from the New Testament church. That may be a great generalization, but I will stand on it. There is a gulf between our average Christianity and the church of New Testament that makes the Grand Canyon look like a cavity in someone's tooth.
What price are you willing to pay to see your church actively engaged in evangelism? Price? What do you mean by price? There is a cost for everything. One of the causes for evangelistic entropy is an unwillingness to count the cost of growth. If evangelism is really going to be a value that your church embraces, the church will have to embrace the changes that will take place when evangelism is activated in the church.
What I have seen in the past 10 years of traveling- performing at a church one day and a casino the next- is that a lot of people in the church want to be entertained, and people in casinos want to be ministered to. That's hard to understand, but I see a hunger in the world that I don't see in the church.
I'm looking for a second reformation. The first reformation of the church 500 years ago was about beliefs. This one is going to be about behavior. The first one was about creeds. This one is going to be about deeds. It is not going to be about what does the church believe, but about what is the church doing.
I want to remind pastors and leaders that we do not own the church-God does. We aren't called to serve the church from a place of fear with our primary focus on protecting our boundaries. We are called to fling wide the doors, to invite to the banquet those on the margins, those who will challenge our comfort and our aversion to getting our hands dirty. Announcing the kingdom is risky business. When our experience of church becomes so predictable and so controlled, one has to wonder how far we've strayed from the calling to be ambassadors of reconciliation to those far beyond the walls of the church.
It is true that going out on to the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman. But if the church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. And if I had to choose between a wounded church that goes out on to the streets and a sick, withdrawn church, I would definitely choose the first one.
I was raised in a little church, the Grundy Methodist Church, that was very straight-laced, but I had a friend whose mother spoke in tongues. I was just wild for this family. My own parents were older, and they were so over-protective. I just loved the 'letting go' that would happen when I went to church with my friend.
Supreme authority in both church and home has been divinely vested in the male as the representative of Christ, who is Head of the church. It is in willing submission rather than grudging capitulation that the woman in the church (whether married or single) and the wife in the home find their fulfillment.
Very occasionally, a simplified form of communion and of adult baptism for new members of the church would be enacted but no Separatist was ever married in church, because there is no hint of a marriage ceremony in scripture and the primitive church had not considered marriage a sacrament before AD 537.
I say unto you with all the soberness I can, that we stand in danger of losing our liberties, and that once lost, only blood will bring them back; and we of this church will, in order to keep the Church going forward, have more sacrifices to make, and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known. If the conspiracy comes here it will probably come in its full vigor and there will be a lot of vacant places among those who guide and direct, not only this government, but also this Church of ours.
J. Reuben Clark
Let me paraphrase what Paul is saying here: Jesus married the Church - Christians, you and me, us. The Church is His literal bride. He laid His life down for the Church. And Paul writes that husbands should love their wives in the same way that Jesus loved The Church, and vice-versa. What a daunting task. But what is made clear in this passage is that marriage was designed to display the love that Jesus has for the Church, His bride. It's the closest thing we can get to tasting the kind of love that He has for us - a sacrificing love, a serving love, a selfless love. Do you see what this means? Marriage isn't really about us. It's not. It's about God. It's about the Gospel.
What the church should be telling the worker is that the first demand religion makes on him is that he should be a good workman. If he is a carpenter he should be a competent carpenter. Church by all means on Sundays-but what is the use of church if at the very center of life a man defrauds his neighbor and insults God by poor craftsmanship.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Over the road there was a church: a modern gray building, which constantly played a recording of church bells. Strange it was. Why no proper bells? I never went in but I bet it was a robot church for androids, where the Bible was in binary and their Jesus had laser eyes and metal claws.
The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing. . . .Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater the number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest. . . . Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the Devil.