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Subject: What is the purpose of church? rss

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True Blue Jon
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Assuming that you subscribe to the religion being espoused there, what is the purpose of going to church?

EDIT: I should clarify that when I say "church" I don't necessarily mean a building. I mean two or more people belonging to the same "faith" (intentionally undefined) meeting together for some purpose.
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True Blue Jon
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samclemens53 wrote:
What did you think it was for?


I have my ideas. I just want to to see everybody's ideas here in RSP.
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The Steak Fairy
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The sole purpose of church is to get a group of people together in loving supplication so that agents of some other, less loving supplicants from some other group can firebomb more of them when their guard is down.
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To control the flock.
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Tim McCormley
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quozl wrote:
Assuming that you subscribe to the religion being espoused there, what is the purpose of going to church?

Well, according to Ian Anderson, it's to wind God up:

I don't believe you:
You had the whole damn thing all wrong -
He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays

"Wind Up" from Aqualung (Jethro Tull)

But he was wrong. The purpose of Church is to wind yourself up.

Tim
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quozl wrote:
Assuming that you subscribe to the religion being espoused there, what is the purpose of going to church?


I think it differs by individual.

For some people, it is a necessary part of worship -- a place that they feel a stonger connection with God (or other diety) due to be surrounded by a group of like-minded people. The environment provides a "safe" place for adulation and open reverence without fear of ridicule or interference from others.

For others, it is a place they go to get guidance if they are unable to commit the time to study their religion as they feel is necessary to get a complete understanding, essentially they are putting their trust in an "expert"

I also think it serves as a place for some to escape from the "material" world. All thoughts of everything not religious are left behind and it provides a convenient atmosphere for a clear focus on worship.

That being said, there is nothing that requires attending church to be faithul (although I think many believers would hold that it does).
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True Blue Jon
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armor_11 wrote:
The purpose of Church is to wind yourself up.

Tim


I understand the general idea of what you mean but could you expand on that?
 
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The Steak Fairy
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"Winding up" is a reference to human morality as a clockwork mechanism within each of us that requires constant attention and reinvigoration in order to continue to function. The purpose of church is to assist in the application of the necessary periodic force required to keep the individual's, as well as the overall congregations', moral gears from coming to a standstill.

That's my read on it, anyway. I still vote for the firebombings.
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Chad Ellis
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At a guess, I'd say there are roughly X reasons, where X is the number of people attending service. Off the top of my head:

- Bonding with one's community
- Sharing a religious experience with like-minded people
- Coffee cake
- Raising children in the faith
- Making friends and/or finding dates
- Learning more about one's faith

In short, "the purpose" is either the wrong phrase or (my hunch) another example of you being clever with words.
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True Blue Jon
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
In short, "the purpose" is either the wrong phrase or (my hunch) another example of you being clever with words.


I think you think I'm more clever than I am. I think.

Anyhow, purpose might be the wrong word. I'm trying to see what the point is, now and originally. I know there's a lot of different reasons, which is why I'm asking here. I'd like to know the different reasons of different people.
 
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Benny
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An interesting question which allows for a variety of answers.

I am convinced that church is the place where believers gather to be receive God's Word and Sacrament for forgiveness of their sins. I'm close to saying it may be unique in that capacity.
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True Blue Jon
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Drew1365 wrote:
quozl wrote:
I think you think I'm more clever than I am. I think.


I think you're not nearly as iconoclastic as you want us to think you are. cool


I think I don't know how much I want you to think that I think I am iconoclastic but I think you think I do. You think?
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Tim McCormley
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quozl wrote:
armor_11 wrote:
The purpose of Church is to wind yourself up.

Tim


I understand the general idea of what you mean but could you expand on that?

MisterCranky addressed most of it (better than I could, incidentally). I would just add that acting according to principle is much more difficult than believing in the principle. Church helps you act according to principle.

Tim
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David desJardins
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quozl wrote:
I'd like to know the different reasons of different people.


So you're only asking people who do attend church what their reasons are? The OP reads like you're asking people who don't attend church to speculate on why others attend church, which explains some of the answers you've gotten.
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True Blue Jon
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DaviddesJ wrote:
quozl wrote:
I'd like to know the different reasons of different people.


So you're only asking people who do attend church what their reasons are? The OP reads like you're asking people who don't attend church to speculate on why others attend church, which explains some of the answers you've gotten.


No, I'd like both but answers based on experience are always more valued than answers based on speculation.

And I propose that lots of people go to "church" even if they don't call it that. What exactly is "church"? Hopefully, the purposes stated can help us figure that out.
 
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quozl wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
quozl wrote:
I'd like to know the different reasons of different people.


So you're only asking people who do attend church what their reasons are? The OP reads like you're asking people who don't attend church to speculate on why others attend church, which explains some of the answers you've gotten.


No, I'd like both but answers based on experience are always more valued than answers based on speculation.

And I propose that lots of people go to "church" even if they don't call it that. What exactly is "church"? Hopefully, the purposes stated can help us figure that out.


Well, that changes things a little. I assumed that you were solely referring to the physical structure.

A completely different meaning can be teased out if we are assuming that church is "wherever two or more of the faithful meet to worship". Then church is probably occurring in homes across the country.
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David desJardins
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I can't speak from experience, but I think the main reason people go to church is they think it provides them something of value in their lives (practical advice, religious guidance, reinforcing their faith, etc.).

The secondary but also important reason is a sense of community.
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True Blue Jon
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SpaceGhost wrote:
quozl wrote:
I propose that lots of people go to "church" even if they don't call it that. What exactly is "church"? Hopefully, the purposes stated can help us figure that out.


Well, that changes things a little. I assumed that you were solely referring to the physical structure.

A completely different meaning can be teased out if we are assuming that church is "wherever two or more of the faithful meet to worship". Then church is probably occurring in homes across the country.


You're right. I'll edit the original post.
 
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T. Nomad
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Community, fellowship.

When I lived in Canada, I was invited to a Korean-language service by a local shopkeeper. I said "no thanks, I'm an atheist." He laughed and replied:
"Son, we're all atheists. It's just a great place for all of us Koreans to get together."

Recently there was a NYTimes article on the rise of atheism in the US that included a note about people forming secular community groups that function like churches, but without the gods.
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David Turner
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I think there are multitude of reasons and above are all good examples.
For many, not one reason is enough.


Another reason:
Because people "believe they should go"
Doctrine

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Isaac Citrom
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This church thing is pretty bizarre. Imagine, people getting together to talk about and participate in the same activity. Who else does that?!
.
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Neil Carr
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To invoke sacred space and sacred time.
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Lawson
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Drew1365 wrote:
tommynomad wrote:
Recently there was a NYTimes article on the rise of atheism in the US that included a note about people forming secular community groups that function like churches, but without the gods.


Unitarian-Universalists?


When I was still working for pay, I had a client who had become a friend. At one point, we started talking about religion, and she described herself as a "lapsed Unitarian".

My question: "How can you tell when you lapse?"

(As it happens, I have an ongoing internal debate about going UU. So far, no, but for the future, who knows?)

I have a lot of thoughts about the purpose of church, but I don't have a lot of time right now, so I'll delineate them later if I get the chance.
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JB
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The church thing is VERY bizarre, unless of course, we all didn't evolve from an amoeba & there is a God who created this planet & all the very intelligent folk on this post.
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Keith "Boaty McBoatface" C
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Not really, a communal, sapient creature coming up with a way to strengthen its community is perfectly reasonable.
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