Free In Christ

Finding Freedom in the Churches of Christ

Can We Please Quit Calling Them “Churches”?

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I would like to encourage everyone who reads this blog to stop calling our local Christian assemblies “churches”.  They are not the Church.  They are meetings, congregations, assemblies, communities, fellowships, organizations, buildings, businesses, and a whole bunch of other things.  There are so many names that would fit our local gatherings (ah, there is another one); why should we use the name “church”?

God called His people the “Church”.  In the Greek, the word translated as “Church” (ekklesia) means the same things as the list that I’ve given above, but when we use the word “Church” today people cannot separate the local assembly from God’s universal Church.

The word “Church” was used for both local assemblies and God’s universal assembly in the Greek language because it was a common word used to describe any assembly but we don’t use it like that today.  We don’t say that we go to a “city council church” we say “city council meeting”.  In high school, we didn’t go to “pep churches” we went to “pep assemblies”.

The meaning of the word has changed through usage and has lost its original meaning.

Because of this, I think that we should call the universal church the “Church” and the local churches one of the words that are translations of ekklesia (like assembly, meeting, etc.).  This would help lessen the confusion over the whole thing.

I do not promise that I will keep this here on the blog (and definetly not in the “book” series since it is written to a broader audience).  I will sometimes have to to refer to a local assembly as a “church” to avoid misunderstandings but I will try to be conscious of it.  In my speech, I hope to get rid of it all together as to reflect my understanding of the issue and engage discussion on the true nature of the Church.  I hope that many will join me in this small detail that can make a lot of difference.


Written by freeinchrist

March 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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