Ecclesiastical authorities tell us the etymology of the word "church" stems from the Greek kyriakon meaning "the Lord's." It does not. It comes from the Greek word Kirke, a mythological character from Homer's Ulysses. She was the daughter of the Son God banished to the Island of Aiaia who had the power to turn men into animals. Judging from 2000 years of "church" history, the myth became true. Gary Amirault
I spent a great deal of time studying the early Christian writings. To my amazement, I found that what the early Christians taught and believed and laid down their very lives for was much different from the doctrines taught by modern Christendom. Indeed, the early believers resembled very little to modern Protestants or Catholics. When trying to figure out why there was so much difference between the two time periods, I discovered the great falling away most modern preachers are saying is now happening had, in fact, already occurred many hundreds of years earlier. The question is not how to keep yourself from being deceived, but getting stripped from the false doctrines and idols we already have consumed. Gary Amirault
"Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world." Benjamin Franklin ("Ben", to the French ministry dated March, 1778.)
“I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.” George Carlin
“Some go to church to see and be seen, Some go there to say they have been, Some go there to sleep and nod, But few go there to worship God”
“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church”
“Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches.” Thomas Aquinas
“Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.” Lenny Bruce
By dividing the people of God as clergy and laymen, we have made the latter a majority of lame men. -R. Stanley
The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. E. M. Bounds
Going to Church does not make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger.
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. - Anonymous
A lot of church members who are singing "Standing On The Promises" are just sitting on the premises. Sr. Monique Rysavy
Do you know the three times that most people are in church? When they are hatched, matched and dispatched. Lowell B. Yoder, Holland, Ohio
Most of us spend the first six days of the week sowing wild oats, then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure. Fred Allen
Some people are kind, polite and sweet-spirited, until you try to get into their church pew.
“The Church knew what the psalmist knew: Music praises God. Music is well or better able to praise him than the building of the church and all its decoration; it is the Church's greatest ornament.” Igor Stravinsky
“The Church recruited people who had been starched and ironed before they were washed.” John Wesley
“In the Church of Jesus Christ there can and should be no non-theologians.”Karl Barth
The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.
“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” Thomas Paine
A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there. H.L. Menchen
Is it faith to understand nothing, and merely submit your convictions implicitly to the Church? John Calvin
When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives. Robert A. Heinlein
The style of God venerated in the church, mosque, or synagogue seems completely different from the style of the natural universe. Alan Watts
I see no faults in the Church, and therefore let me be resurrected with the Saints, whether I ascend to heaven or descend to hell, or go to any other place. And if we go to hell, we will turn the devils out of doors and make a heaven of it. Joseph Smith, Jr.
Going to church doesn't make you any more a Christian than going to the garage makes you a car. Laurence J. Peter
Distance does not decide who is your brother and who is not. The church is going to have to become the conscience of the free market if it's to have any meaning in this world - and stop being its apologist. Bono
Hypocrites in the Church? Yes, and in the lodge and at the home. Don't hunt through the Church for a hypocrite. Go home and look in the mirror. Hypocrites? Yes. See that you make the number one less. Billy Sunday
Nobody sees the obvious, nobody observes the ordinary. There are more miracles in a square yard of earth than in all the fables of the Church. Rober Anton Wilson
He who begins by loving Christianity more than Truth, will proceed by loving his sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
If I could believe the Quakers banned music because church music is so damn bad, I should view them with approval. Ezra Pound
The Church has always been willing to swap off treasures in heaven for cash down here. Robert Green Ingersoll
I was brought up as a Catholic and went to church every week and took the sacraments. It never really touched the core of my being. Sting
A church debt is the devil's salary. Henry Ward Beecher
Christ and The Church: If he were to apply for a divorce on the grounds of cruelty, adultery and desertion, he would probably get one. Samuel Butler
What, but the rapacity of the only men who exercised their reason, the priests, secured such vast property to the church, when a man gave his perishable substance to save himself from the dark torments of purgatory. Mary Wollstonecraft
Every country gets the circus it deserves. Spain gets bullfights. Italy gets the Catholic Church. America gets Hollywood. Erica Jong
Truth is the silliest thing under the sun. Try to get a living by the Truth and go to the Soup Societies. Heavens! Let any clergyman try to preach the Truth from its very stronghold, the pulpit, and they would ride him out of his church on his own pulpit bannister. Herman Melville
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. Tertullian
“The churches must learn humility as well as teach it.” George Bernard Shaw
“People go to church for the same reasons they go to a tavern: to stupefy themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine themselves, for a few minutes anyway, free and happy” Mikhail Bakunin
“Give the church a place in the Constitution, let her touch once more the sword of power, and the priceless fruit of all ages will turn to ashes on the lips of men.” Robert Green Ingersoll
“The religious superstition is encouraged by means of the institution of churches, processions, monuments, festivities....The so-called clergy stupefy the masses....They befog the people and keep them in an eternal condition of stupefaction.” Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy
“The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.” Willa Silbert Silbert
Jesus promised his disciples three things -- that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble. F.R. Maltby (Do you qualify?)
“I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.” Saint Augustine
“The question confronting the Church today is not any longer whether the man in the street can grasp a religious message, but how to employ the communications media so as to let him have the full impact of the Gospel message.” Pope John Paul II
“But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State.” Thomas Jefferson
"There is in the church no association, according to the usual formula, whereby a sociological institution may also be the body of Christ, or the body of Christ may be forcibly put in sociological forms. Once the church organizes and clericalizes itself, it is intrinsically a transgression of God's order." (Jacques Ellul - The Subversion of Christianity. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans. 1986. pg. 211.)
"The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. (C. S. Lewis - Mere Christianity. Macmillan Publishing. 1978. pgs. 169,170)
"Sailors ought never to go to church. They ought to go to hell, where it is much more comfortable.” H.G. Wells
“We should always be disposed to believe that that which appears white is really black, if the hierarchy of the Church so decides.” Saint Ignatius of Loyola
“I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The teaching of the church, theoretically astute, is a lie in practice and a compound of vulgar superstitions and sorcery.” Leo Tolstoy
“The observances of the church concerning feasts and fasts are tolerably well kept, since the rich keep the feasts and the poor the fasts.” Sir Philip Sidney
The Institutional Church (ecclesia) has killed only two kinds of people: Those who do not believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, and those who do. --- Will Durant
I cannot live in mediocrity, content with merely knowing that there is more of God to experience and explore -- and then do nothing about it. Truths that are not experienced are, in effect, more like theories than truths. Whenever God reveals truth to us He is inviting us into a divine encounter. Bill Johnson, Face to Face with God
Seeing the spiritual condition of the average church in America or in the West, a new young zealot Christian willing to surrender all to be a true disciple of Christ would probably be thrown out in these churches as a demon-possessed heretic. Gary Amirault, founder, Tentmaker Ministries
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It's as if they are showing you the way. That's what the body of Christ should be on earth.
The degree to which we perceive the face of God corresponds directly to the degree of our yieldedness to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.
If the Church really sees itself as the people of God, it is obvious that it can never be a static and supra-historical phenomenon, which exists undisturbed by earthly space and historical time. The Church is always and everywhere a living people, gathered together from the peoples of this world and journeying through the midst of time. The Church is essentially en route, on a journey, a pilgrimage. A Church which pitches its tents without looking out constantly for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calling. Hans Kung, The Church
Your God is too Small
J. B. Phillips
There are doubtless many reasons for the degeneration of Christianity into churchiness, and the narrowing of the Gospel for all mankind into a set of approved beliefs; but the chief cause must be the worship of an inadequate god -- a cramped and regulated god who is a 'good churchman' according to the formulas of the worshipper. For actual behaviour infallibly betrays the real object of the man's worship. All Christians, whatever their Church, would of course instantly repudiate the idea that their god was a super-example of their own denomination, and it is not suggested that the worship is conscious. Nevertheless, beneath the conscious critical level of the mind it is perfectly possible for the Anglo-Catholic, for example, to conceive God as particularly pleased with Anglo-Catholicism, doubtful about Evangelicalism, and frankly displeased by all forms of Nonconformity... The ultra-low Churchman on the other hand must admit, if he is honest, that the God whom he worships disapproves most strongly of vestments, incense, and candles on the altar. The tragedy of these examples -- which could be reproduced ad nauseam any day of the week -- is not difference of opinion, which will probably be with us till the Day of Judgment, but the outrageous folly and damnable sin of trying to regard God as the Party Leader of a particular point of view. -- J. B. Phillips, Your God is too Small
The Church of All Churches
"Oh, mighty, true church of all churches...church under starry roof...church where not a mark is to be seen of human hand! This was the church of God's building, the only fitting type of a yet greater, a yet holier church, whose stars are the burning eyes of self-forgetting love, whose worship is a ceaseless ministration of self-forgetting deeds--the one real ideal church, the body of the living God, built of the hearts and souls of men and women out of every nation and every creed, through all time and over all the world, redeemed alike from Judaism, paganism, and all the false Christianities that darken and dishonor the true..." (George MacDonald, Selection from The Laird's Inheritance)
Celsus on Christians in the second century A.D.
"Christians are like frogs holding a symposium round a swamp, debating which of them is most sinful".
Celsus (178 AD) wrote: "Christians, needless to say, utterly detest one another; they slander each other constantly with the vilest forms of abuse, and cannot come to any sort of agreement in their teaching. Each sect brands its own, fills the head of its own with deceitful nonsense...".