By Dario Martini
Globe’s National Journal reported in Brazil a report on the decay of historic churches in Europe, saying that 200-year-old and even older churches are closing their doors, which buildings, full of tradition, are being occupied by bookstores, studios music and even nightclubs, also many becoming Muslim mosques.
For according to the report in the last ten years, 200 temples, on average per month, have closed the doors. The facades are preserved, but in the heart of the old churches they beat the hammers of modernity. The temples are converted into apartment condos, nightclubs, mosques and hotels.
Exemplifying that only in Britain, where the number of churches has fallen from 55,000 to 40,000 in the last decade, reuse is varied. On a corner in London, an old Anglican temple turned into a state-of-the-art music studio today is a sanctuary of sound, considered by the ‘popes’ of music one of the best in the world in terms of acoustics.
Concluding with the testimony of a priest and the opinion of the British press: “It is a sad sign of the times,” says Father Jeremiahs, responsible for a small parish in north London. “People believe in God, but they do not think they need to go to church anymore. They forget the true sense of community. “. Controversially, the subject has gained ground in the British press that generally puts the greatest faith in this type of solution, but some publishers argue that it would be sin to put those beautiful buildings on the ground.
After all what is a church according to the word of God, buildings that can be demolished one day or become nightclubs in the end ?
I agree with Father Jeremiahs who said that people think they “do not need to go to church” because we can not go to church, since we are the church! We need to have the proper concept of what church is according to the word of God, so that we do not err even in our words and expressions. We need to have a clear and precise concept of what the church is, otherwise we can get involved in wrong things.
First, the church of Christ is an invisible entity, for it is the mystical body of Christ, not an organisation but a living organism. It may seem strange, but most things we know are invisible. At least everything that is important, starting with God. We can see things but we cannot see the ‘hidden’ matter or substance made manifest. We can see the planets and stars, but we do not see what sustains them or what makes them move. We can see the shell of things, but not their interior, we do not see how the “machine” works. In fact, the closer we look, the more the vision stays. Scientists were not able to determine their exact position when they encountered the electron. That view of the atom as a solar system where the nucleus represents the sun and the electrons are the spinning planets around is already forgotten. The electron appears as a blurred cloud orbiting the nucleus, it can be anywhere in its orbit at the same time. And if we go deeper still, if we look even more closely, everything then disappears, there is only energy and the energy is invisible.
Another interesting aspect of the invisible things is that what we do not see, we can not understand. The force of gravity for example, we can not see and we know absolutely nothing about what is gravity. We understand and perceive the effects, but we have no idea what it really is, for us it is a force that makes matter attracted to the universe. The greater the mass (matter) the greater the attraction.
We can not see the time. There is actually a movement within modern physics where it is theorized that time does not even exist. We can not see the future. Not the past except in our memories. We can not see the atoms, we can never see them, they are smaller than the wavelength of light. We can not see hydrogen, nitrogen, or any gas. We can not see light. We only see, in fact, objects where light is reflected.
The same is true of the Church of Christ, it is a spiritual and invisible organism, we can even see its actions, its movements and its powerful influence, but its essence is invisible to our eyes and therefore we have difficulty understanding.
What is a church ?
The Body of Christ on earth is palpable by the gathering of the believers, who can meet in public buildings and in houses.
All the churches throughout the world form the invisible body that is completely orchestrated by the head that is Christ. The church is preponderant in the modus operandi of God, but how should us defined a local church.
According to Dennis Allan, a church is simply a group of Christians who follow Christ. The word can be used to speak of all those who serve the Lord, no matter where they are (Hebrews 12: 22-23).
….But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,…
Church is often described as a local groups of disciples who meet to worship, to edify one another, and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. It is in this sense that we read about the church in Antioch in Syria (Acts 13: 1),
…Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul….Alison in the churches in Lystra, Iconium and Antioch of Pisidia (Acts 14: 21-23), and when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. In the church in Ephesus (Acts 20:17) , from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. The church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1: 1, 2 Corinthians 1: 1).. .Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia.. The churches in the region of Galatia (Galatians 1: 2) and all the brethren who are with me,To the churches OF GALATIANS and the church of the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 1: 1, 2 Thessalonians 1: 1). Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus CHRIST.
Churches in Houses?
The church that met in the house OF Philemon (Philemon 2), to the BELOVED Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:
The Church that met in the house of Priscilla and Aquila, (Romans 16:3-5): Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
And in I Corinthians 16:19) also speaks about Priscilla and Aquila: The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
The Church that met in the house of Nymphs in Laodicea: Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in her house.
It is in this atmosphere of churches in the houses that we find leaders chosen to supervise and guide the churches In the New Testament as Acts 14: 21-23:And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Christians served together in churches, which meet also in houses. It is biblical concept to have churches in houses.
When disciples of Christ come together to serving God they become a church despite wherever they meet., even if it is in a house.