(Okay, I dub this uncensored for two reasons: One, I’m blunt and candid about what I think; Two, the thoughts I share are not absolute, meaning once they’re further processed in my puny brain, they will undergo deconstruction and correction. Facts, fiction, biases, opinions, truth, deception are for the moment blurred.)
I’ve read some sources online about how the English word for church does not come from the Greek “ekklasia” but from “kyriakon”. Interestingly, kyriakon was used for the sanctuary/temple where Christians gathered. I will be studying this further elsewhere because, frankly, I don’t trust online sources. But what’s more fascinating is really what ekklasia means in the original Classical Greek, which is a political term that calls out citizens to come together for a specific purpose, i.e. for war. The apostle Paul used it pretty openly to describe any assembly of people, whether it was Christian or not.
Perhaps ekklasia is not as sacred a term as we’ve made it. It’s just a noun that identifies any group, whether it was “of God” or not. Perhaps it’s the “of God” that’s important. We speak of ekklasia as if it’s some abstract reality that exists outside of the very assembly of which it identifies.
Nonetheless, Paul used the term more expansively than the Greek allowed. He used it in a more Hebraic and holistic manner, using ekklasia in some instances to identify not just a local assembly, but the whole body of Christ, whether they were assembled in one particular place or scattered geographically.
There are some Christians who would argue that we translate ekklasia not as church but assembly. I could care less what term we use because that’s really not important. What’s important is the truth it’s trying to convey, which transcends our limited etymology.
As for my own journey with church, meaning the institutional church (IC)….
Being no longer involved with the IC has allowed me to focus more deeply on God and the rest of His kingdom. I am no longer confined to a religious bubble where the world, and God for that matter, is squeezed into a box–this isn’t true of all ICs. I’m often asked why I don’t start my own church. I often answer that if I did, it will probably follow the same model of religious obligation that other ICs employ. And frankly, I believe it is more important to “be” the church rather than “go” to church.
I’ve been listening to Rush Limbaugh lately. I disagree with basically everything he says. Yet, I find him quite entertaining and I can’t stop myself from listening. Even more entertaining are the calls Rush get from people who practically worship the guy. They all act as if America will cease to exist under Democrat rule. But the same could be said of the liberal radio stations I’ve heard. Some of the talk hosts believe religious leaders are atheists themselves who use religion to manipulate people. Can’t we all just make love and peace?
I like Obama. He’s charismatic and not afraid to tell conservative Evangelicals that he believes in atheistic evolution, even if that risks the “Evangelical” vote. Will he get things done (whatever this means) in the White House…well, that’s another matter…and I’m usually very pessimistic about government.
I don’t dislike Bush. I think people need to stop blaming him for everything that goes wrong. Give the man a break.
So I finally have the job that I’ve always wanted. I am now a graphic designer for a graphic design studio in Lancaster. I get to work for various clients and on different projects. My co-workers are very cool people who are passionate about life and graphic design. They like to have fun and create excellent work. What more could I want? Part of me wants to thank God for granting me this opportunity. Part of me wants to smack myself upside the head and say “Sure, you’re like the rest of them, thanking God for the good things and denying His presence when you get the bad things…” I’ll choose the former for now–so thank you Lord for your provisions, even if getting this job is just godless good fortune (oh my foolish skepticism).