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Lefty

Church Buildings: Why do they exist?

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During my active days as a believer, I spent quite a bit of time trying to understand just what a Christian should do. As a child, I went to churches on occasion, but once I started my search as an adult for what it means to be Christian, I quickly found a real problem within Christianity; the practice of attending a church service in a building.

 

From what I have read within their own book, I see no reason or call for such practices, doctrinally speaking. I settled that it is merely proof of the claims within the book that there are many false prophets and false teachers out there in the world because I can find nothing in the scriptures to support "church services".

 

Maybe I missed something? I think not. So, why do they exist? Are church buildings doctrinally correct? I say no, that they are an invention of men driven by greed and the thirst for power and control of the masses. I will even go so far as to claim that the overall concept was and is a state-approved practice designed to serve as one of many ways the state keeps the masses under government control for the ease of management.

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Frankly, everything to do with religion is about control. And, all religious doctrine and practice is based on fiction.

 

Arguing about discrepancies in religious doctrine and practice is a bit like arguing about discrepancies in Star Wars episodes. Doesn't really matter because it's all made up. 

 

So, why the fixation with one point of the Christian fiction? 

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     Well, assuming it's all true, then other than hanging around outside xians should also be in synagogues and at the temple since jesus also preached there.

 

     There are some who think that there are evidence for Jewish-xian synagogues early on.  So it makes sense that once Jews and xians split further that churches are essentially a xian synagogue.  If the xians were as poor as they liked to lead us to believe then building purpose built facilities would have been difficult to impossible so the house churches makes sense before they could afford better.  Once they were better funded even more elaborate buildings could be created.  All of which may well be a xian synagogue and all were places xians, even jesus, utilized in the gospels even if they weren't specifically commanded.

 

          mwc

 

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Church buildings are for housing casserole dinners and bingo.

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6 hours ago, webmdave said:

Frankly, everything to do with religion is about control. And, all religious doctrine and practice is based on fiction.

 

Arguing about discrepancies in religious doctrine and practice is a bit like arguing about discrepancies in Star Wars episodes. Doesn't really matter because it's all made up. 

 

So, why the fixation with one point of the Christian fiction? 

 

I totally agree. It's not a fixation, but rather pointing out the biggest fraud in history as I see it. Seeing that there are believers who read and post here, I thought I'd get them on record trying to justify what is clearly not biblical. Jesus only went to the temples as a matter of respect for his upbringing, which was Jewish, it's what they do, they go to the temple. And also he did so as the story goes to meet the demands of the prophecy of a messiah.

 

Basically, it's to get on record the hypocrisy of it all. Maybe if it's on record, then somebody reading it will have a moment of clarity, just maybe and will realize they've been had.

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18 minutes ago, Lefty said:

Basically, it's to get on record the hypocrisy of it all. Maybe if it's on record, then somebody reading it will have a moment of clarity, just maybe and will realize they've been had.

 

Understood.  Thanks for clarifying.

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     So it's a sort of pious fraud?

 

     Nowhere does jesus command the building of churches so churches bad.  But nowhere does jesus command that anyone write down his words and of his exploits.  So then written gospels bad.  Nowhere does jesus command that his followers write letters to one another.  So epistles bad.  Nowhere does jesus command that anyone bind all this crap together with a bunch of Jewish stuff so the NT and the entire xian bible, no matter the version, is bad.

 

     I suppose that leaves xians with an oral only tradition that they should follow.  But then that oral tradition could tell us anything.  Like churches and written texts are good so who really knows at that point?  I guess that's why we need them?  So I can use them here to know they should exist?  Otherwise I wouldn't be able to know about any of this and what I'm saying would be even more difficult.

 

     I would think that the written xian bible would be considered a much worse thing than church buildings given neither should exist.

 

          mwc

 

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16 hours ago, Lefty said:

they are an invention of men driven by greed

 

Having visited the Vatican and the Vatican museums, as well as several of the largest cathedrals in Europe and the UK, I heartily agree with this. How many hungry people could be fed if all this was dissolved?

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8 hours ago, mwc said:

     So it's a sort of pious fraud?

 

     Nowhere does jesus command the building of churches so churches bad.  But nowhere does jesus command that anyone write down his words and of his exploits.  So then written gospels bad.  Nowhere does jesus command that his followers write letters to one another.  So epistles bad.  Nowhere does jesus command that anyone bind all this crap together with a bunch of Jewish stuff so the NT and the entire xian bible, no matter the version, is bad.

 

     I suppose that leaves xians with an oral only tradition that they should follow.  But then that oral tradition could tell us anything.  Like churches and written texts are good so who really knows at that point?  I guess that's why we need them?  So I can use them here to know they should exist?  Otherwise I wouldn't be able to know about any of this and what I'm saying would be even more difficult.

 

     I would think that the written xian bible would be considered a much worse thing than church buildings given neither should exist. 

 

          mwc

 

 

What's wrong with oral? I find it quite....shit wrong forums! 😲

 

But seriously, you make a very valid point that should not be overlooked, which is the conundrum we face with religions. The reality is that we must "have faith" based on what other men have told us. Seeing we humans are more or less a trusting lot and tend to give the benefit of doubt, when a person with some kind of authority speaks many will listen expecting to be told the truth. A reasonable person will understand those men and women surely don't know all the answers but there is a chance what they say is true. So we bite. Now if those same people say that buildings are valid and must be part of the deal, my personal first reaction is to take pause. The grifters of history have made me a bit hesitant, especially the record governments have in needless project after project just to use budgeted money.

 

I admit my take on the Christian story is more literal than some. I guess I can say the reason or part of the reason is that within the idea of a god this is an entity that can do anything, even stuff I don't have the ability to comprehend. From the perspective of the story if one is trying to believe it to be true then it's easy to see a god being capable of managing mankind in such a way as to have them be the authors of written material that is true, regardless of time period. How can a god make the universe, yet not be able to create a literal dragon with seven heads and ten horns? Because of the unbelief of men, that isn't plausible within the confines of the Christian story? The god entity surely could pull that off. I mean seriously, have you seen a platypus or a Kimono dragon? It is at that point, the authors have you. As soon as you start saying to yourself, "Hey, that could be possible...", off you go on the journey of "Trust me, I know what I'm talking about, I'm a learned man". Such is life within what I call organized Churchianity.

 

Everyone wants to know the truth about all things. We need to know for a fact that certain important topics are true or false. Part of proving or disproving something involves checking the facts as we know them while setting aside bias. From my time as a believer not once did it make any difference when a person told me there is no god or there never was a man named Jesus. I was completely unphased by that. Really, the only thing it did was cause me to pity the unbelieving. I find that I still see the same situation. No matter what I believe, telling another person what they believe is true or not true has no measurable effect in my opinion. Some sort of "ah-ha" moment is required and that moment I believe is when the person is truly honest with themselves. With Christianity, the only thing that exists is written material, a long history of beliefs and a whole bunch of monuments, statues, and buildings. The church steeple is the visual clue. It's the bait to get the population to support the builders of a criminal enterprise. It's the monetization of a belief that plays on the fears of man. I see that as the handiwork of men, not a god. It is not uncommon for a person to want to have something they can touch and feel in order to consider it valid, and the church buildings provide it in all manner of shapes and sizes and even coffee shops and exercise gyms. The so-called learned men inside know all too well the weakness of the flesh and the basic standards by which mankind views its surroundings. 

 

 

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I knew a bunch of hippie-believers ( a small cult) that were dead-set against buildings due to the amount of money a building takes to create and keep in good condition. The first church we joined near Portland met in a school auditorium and gave a large portion of their money towards missions, so we were happy to be there. That didn't last long, and soon they wanted to be in a strip mall, then needed bodies in the seats to pay for all of that (and the pastor's newly constructed house), so then they needed a church-building scheme to get people in seats. They purchased a program that created a cult-like situation where they would train trainers who would be over small groups, and who would train others to be devoted to being at the building for becoming disciples blah blah blah. They said that this way the Spirit of God would more easily fill people. I saw that as backwards, that if you want genuine followers, they need more than a purchased church program to be that, it had to come from within. They felt they could create that. We didn't stay around much after that.

 

Buildings are because so many believers don't have a clue what to do in life besides become pastors to spread the cult. Buildings are for making money, for making the cult more visible, for making centers of indoctrination (especially children), for giving a pastor/priest a feeling of god's blessing them, for spreading their particular twist on the beliefs. There are so damn many of them popping up locally I started the acronym AFC - Another Fucking Church. They are like mushrooms spreading bullshit spores that enslave minds. It is frustrating to see so many. I long to be a part of inoculating humans against the flaw in our minds that allows religion to seem reasonable instead of being a dangerous cult.

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7 hours ago, Lefty said:

 

What's wrong with oral? I find it quite....shit wrong forums! 😲

 

But seriously, you make a very valid point that should not be overlooked, which is the conundrum we face with religions. The reality is that we must "have faith" based on what other men have told us. Seeing we humans are more or less a trusting lot and tend to give the benefit of doubt, when a person with some kind of authority speaks many will listen expecting to be told the truth. A reasonable person will understand those men and women surely don't know all the answers but there is a chance what they say is true. So we bite. Now if those same people say that buildings are valid and must be part of the deal, my personal first reaction is to take pause. The grifters of history have made me a bit hesitant, especially the record governments have in needless project after project just to use budgeted money.

 

I admit my take on the Christian story is more literal than some. I guess I can say the reason or part of the reason is that within the idea of a god this is an entity that can do anything, even stuff I don't have the ability to comprehend. From the perspective of the story if one is trying to believe it to be true then it's easy to see a god being capable of managing mankind in such a way as to have them be the authors of written material that is true, regardless of time period. How can a god make the universe, yet not be able to create a literal dragon with seven heads and ten horns? Because of the unbelief of men, that isn't plausible within the confines of the Christian story? The god entity surely could pull that off. I mean seriously, have you seen a platypus or a Kimono dragon? It is at that point, the authors have you. As soon as you start saying to yourself, "Hey, that could be possible...", off you go on the journey of "Trust me, I know what I'm talking about, I'm a learned man". Such is life within what I call organized Churchianity.

 

Everyone wants to know the truth about all things. We need to know for a fact that certain important topics are true or false. Part of proving or disproving something involves checking the facts as we know them while setting aside bias. From my time as a believer not once did it make any difference when a person told me there is no god or there never was a man named Jesus. I was completely unphased by that. Really, the only thing it did was cause me to pity the unbelieving. I find that I still see the same situation. No matter what I believe, telling another person what they believe is true or not true has no measurable effect in my opinion. Some sort of "ah-ha" moment is required and that moment I believe is when the person is truly honest with themselves. With Christianity, the only thing that exists is written material, a long history of beliefs and a whole bunch of monuments, statues, and buildings. The church steeple is the visual clue. It's the bait to get the population to support the builders of a criminal enterprise. It's the monetization of a belief that plays on the fears of man. I see that as the handiwork of men, not a god. It is not uncommon for a person to want to have something they can touch and feel in order to consider it valid, and the church buildings provide it in all manner of shapes and sizes and even coffee shops and exercise gyms. The so-called learned men inside know all too well the weakness of the flesh and the basic standards by which mankind views its surroundings. 

 

 

     This is a nice, long, response but it never really addresses what I said.  Why rail against church buildings as being something that shouldn't exist since the very text you pull that from, according to that very text, should also not exist?  Even jesus erased the only known writing he ever made according to a text that shouldn't be and is dubious to make this line of reasoning from as a result.

 

     It seems to me you have a personal issue with church buildings.  I don't care one way or another, we've all got our things, but it seems if you're against one thing not specifically mentioned in the texts then you should be equally against all things not mentioned in the texts including the very texts themselves.  Hazarding a guess, however, I would think that when you were a believer this was an issue and it wouldn't bode well to be against churches, and the institutional corruption they represent, and the very bible you were carrying to condemn them.

 

          mwc

 

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36 minutes ago, mwc said:

     This is a nice, long, response but it never really addresses what I said.  Why rail against church buildings as being something that shouldn't exist since the very text you pull that from, according to that very text, should also not exist?  Even jesus erased the only known writing he ever made according to a text that shouldn't be and is dubious to make this line of reasoning from as a result.

 

     It seems to me you have a personal issue with church buildings.  I don't care one way or another, we've all got our things, but it seems if you're against one thing not specifically mentioned in the texts then you should be equally against all things not mentioned in the texts including the very texts themselves.  Hazarding a guess, however, I would think that when you were a believer this was an issue and it wouldn't bode well to be against churches, and the institutional corruption they represent, and the very bible you were carrying to condemn them.

 

          mwc

 

2

 

LOL, strange dynamic eh? I was indeed in opposition to the "church system" as a believer and managed to unnerve more than one church member that I met over the years. Everybody has their forte'. Mine was how my "brothers" were acting which reflected on the whole body. There are whole sermons on when you see brethren out of line, etc. Back then, I was coming from the perspective that believers should practice what they preach. Noone yet has been able to offer solid scriptural basis for the church building concept. I'm VERY familiar with all the verses that are used to justify the practices, I've heard pretty much all of it I'd say. Still not convinced to this day.

 

So, the reason for the proverbial chip then and now, is that those buildings act as a beacon to the public, it draws people in, and stands in the forefront of the church's actions. Once inside, then you get a more clear idea of how they operate, but it all starts with what? Something to the effect of..."Hey, why don't you come to our church on Sunday...". It is quite common for a group to be more proud of their buildings than the mission. In their own book, one of the disciples did that very thing with Jesus and the temple. Long story short, he wasn't impressed, so why are men? Vanity of the flesh, portraying something that is a lie in order to get more people to join in their practices, ultimately for financial reasons. If one can show that the church system is a fraud, I'd say that goes a long way in proving their religion is a fraud as well.

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     Jesus wasn't impressed?  That's a high bar.  Jesus wasn't impressed by neither jack nor shit.  So that rules out everything in all of life.  I can't think of a single time where it is said jesus was impressed.  I don't know if jesus even mildy enjoyed anything.  He was rather dour.  He hated on fig trees that didn't give figs out of season.  I really don't know if he could be impressed.

 

     Having said that I also don't recall anything about saying the temple shouldn't exist.  I know there were things about how it wouldn't exist but that's not the same thing.

 

     But, I do agree that many people are more proud of their buildings that their mission.  But people without buildings can also use that as a source of pride just as well.  To show how they're doing things so much better, more correct, than those in the buildings.

 

           mwc

 

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Really? Seems like your now just being...difficult. 🙄

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     I might be.  I've been accused of a lot of things.  I'm sure difficult has been among them.  If not, it is now. :)

 

          mwc

 

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So, have I given a sufficiently clear answer? I know I can ramble which can blur a point.

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Why all the buildings? Looking at it from another perspective, one Xtianity had taken over all the old Pagan temples and what not, then struck out on its own, it needed meeting places. As more and more idiots became converts, it needed larger and larger meeting places, and so on and so forth. So large did these meeting places become that they became instantly recognizable in any sizable village or town, and they were built, and used, for all sorts of things other than religious worship, such as assembly areas in case of fire or other disaster, places to hold hiring fairs, and even common or garden marketplaces. Old Saint Paul's, in London, was once used by Oliver Cromwell to stable some of his cavalry's horses during the English Civil War. Devout Puritan (and practical soldier) that he was, Cromwell doubtless reasoned if men said that it was fit to house God himself, surely it would do for a few of his dumb beasts?

Churches often occupied militarily valuable high ground in an area, especially in Europe. Even as late as the Second World War they were often very useful as OP's, Command Posts, or simply as posts for marksmen. A few prime riflemen with good weapons could make it devilishly hot for soldiers trying to take the position surrounding them. Churches were often built out of the best stone, with exquisite craftsmanship, further making things difficult, even when they were blasted by artillery or bombers. Good infantrymen are like dangerous vermin, and even when such positions are reduced to rubble they will dig in so as to sell their lives very dearly, if they achieve nothing else. Furthermore, especially in Protestant England, there were often tunnels already in place under Catholic churches, and very good use could be made of these, too.

Casey

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Thanks, Casey.

 

I had more typed but this forum has a bug in it, it keeps eating what has been typed when I do a backspace or a return for the next line. It's done that now several times. Sometimes it will come back with the editor text box saying it was restored, sometimes not like this last time. VERY annoying to write within a train of thought only to have it suddenly go poof.

 

Basically, I can't prove what isn't in scripture. Believers need to post what justification they find in their book. I never have found any for it. Church buildings and related services simply aren't scriptural. Men with an agenda came up with all that stuff and not for doctrinal reasons. Somebody will need to show me where I'm wrong. I'm extremely confident they can't, I looked for years. Basically, the church system is a complete fraud, not to mention the religion itself.

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Years ago, my father's fundy and crazy wife developed a similar view on church buildings. The church is not a building, it's the body of believers. She and a group of equally fundy and crazy folks began meeting weekly at each other's house rather than supporting some real estate owned by a religious corporation. Of course that plan failed as people had too many last minute changes, the house wasn't clean, company in from Bumfuck Iowa, yada, yada, yada. She's back with the church where that asshole shithead preacher performed my father's funeral. I guess having a building for a group to meet in is just practical for all concerned.

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     I'm still wondering why we're looking for justification for churches in texts that are also never mentioned?  I've searched the texts for justification for the texts.  It's not there.

 

     I also haven't found justification for toilets either so I'm just sort of going in holes nowadays.  Jesus should have said something if he wanted me to use a proper shitter.

 

          mwc

 

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13 hours ago, florduh said:

Years ago, my father's fundy and crazy wife developed a similar view on church buildings. The church is not a building, it's the body of believers. She and a group of equally fundy and crazy folks began meeting weekly at each other's house rather than supporting some real estate owned by a religious corporation. Of course that plan failed as people had too many last minute changes, the house wasn't clean, company in from Bumfuck Iowa, yada, yada, yada. She's back with the church where that asshole shithead preacher performed my father's funeral. I guess having a building for a group to meet in is just practical for all concerned.

6

 

Yeah, practicality, convenient, it's easier and on it goes with the reasons. I get it, I do. Mankind likes easy because we quite frankly are lazy or at least we don't like things to be hard. Scripturally speaking, yes, the body of believers are considered the "church", that can be shown in verse. Believers of religion do all manner of things that aren't really part of their doctrine out of convenience. I know if I were to start a religion, I'd want all the adherents in one place, as it makes things easier to manage and control.

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11 hours ago, mwc said:

     I'm still wondering why we're looking for justification for churches in texts that are also never mentioned?  I've searched the texts for justification for the texts.  It's not there.

 

     I also haven't found justification for toilets either so I'm just sort of going in holes nowadays.  Jesus should have said something if he wanted me to use a proper shitter.

 

          mwc

 

 

LOL, well, actually, I can show in the text the justification for the text. In fact, that is the easiest one of all seeing the text is the whole point of the concept. "In the beginning was the Word...", "and the word was made flesh and dwelt among us...", etc.

 

But fear not mwc, going in holes in the ground is scriptural..." Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: 13And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: Deut 23:12

 

You're welcome! 😎

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11 minutes ago, Lefty said:

 

LOL, well, actually, I can show in the text the justification for the text. In fact, that is the easiest one of all seeing the text is the whole point of the concept. "In the beginning was the Word...", "and the word was made flesh and dwelt among us...", etc.

     How is this a justification?  Jesus isn't saying this.  This isn't talking about writing anything down at all.

 

     If this is justification for all the texts then people meeting in houses more than enough justification for all the church buildings.

 

11 minutes ago, Lefty said:

But fear not mwc, going in holes in the ground is scriptural..." Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: 13And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: Deut 23:12

      That's why I said it.  God doesn't want to step in our crap when he comes to visit.  So I have to shit in holes since jesus didn't want to talk up better methods like our modern thrones.  But he came to fulfill all that so maybe even holes ain't no good no more and god never comes around the camp?  It's all shaky ground if he didn't speak to it.

 

11 minutes ago, Lefty said:

You're welcome! 😎

     Good to know.

 

          mwc

 

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44 minutes ago, mwc said:

How is this a justification?  Jesus isn't saying this.  This isn't talking about writing anything down at all.

 

Actually, Jesus is in fact "quoted" saying it in the word (bible text) itself. According to the text, Jesus IS The Word. Carnal man allegedly cannot understand the spiritual so the word of text was given to make the transition from carnal to spiritual. "The Word was made flesh...". But as powerful as the word is supposed to be according to their own story, the text mankind has is far from perfect. A god that allows it's own doctrine in the text that said god uses to draw men in to be so imperfect is no god. That is the literary stench of man and not a god.

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9 hours ago, Lefty said:

 

Actually, Jesus is in fact "quoted" saying it in the word (bible text) itself. According to the text, Jesus IS The Word. Carnal man allegedly cannot understand the spiritual so the word of text was given to make the transition from carnal to spiritual. "The Word was made flesh...". But as powerful as the word is supposed to be according to their own story, the text mankind has is far from perfect. A god that allows it's own doctrine in the text that said god uses to draw men in to be so imperfect is no god. That is the literary stench of man and not a god.

     The word made flesh.  Not the word made the gospel of John or the the bible.  If he's made flesh then that's where it ends...flesh.  How does that then become written text if it's not commanded to become written text?  How does this fleshy word become written word?

 

          mwc

 

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