Sunday, November 1, 2009

Going to Church: a great impropriety - John Gill

The word church has various significations, which it may be proper to take notice of, in order to settle the true sense of it, as now to be discoursed of. Some take it for a place of worship, and call such a place by that name; but wrongly, at least very improperly: it is a remarkable saying of one of the ancients, even of the second century, Not the place, but the congregation of the elect, I call the church. . . . The papists, indeed, call an edifice built for religious worship, a church; and so do some protestants, I might add, some dissenting protestants too; who call going to a place of public worship, going to church; though with great impropriety.
found in John Gill, A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity, new ed., vol. 2 (London: Bradbury and Evans, 1839), 559.

... Hum ... terminology. So what do you think, does our use of terminology matter? When many Christians use the terminology "going to church" are they really committing a great impropriety?

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