Were I a Roman Catholic, perhaps I should on this occasion vow to build a chapel to some saint, but as I am not, if I were to vow at all, it should be to build a light-house.[Letter to his wife, 17 July 1757, after narrowly avoiding a shipwreck; often misquoted as Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.]
A man of God would never burn or harm a temple of any kind - regardless of religion. A true man of God would see every temple or divine mansion built to glorify the Creator - as an extension of the temple closest to his home, regardless of its shape, size, or color. A man who truly recognizes and knows God can see God in all things.
Many millions of pregnancies—many if not most of which have each led to the birth of at least one child—were each used as nothing but a conspicuous means to a secret end called the evasion of abortion.
Note, to-day, an instructive, curious spectacle and conflict. Science, (twin, in its fields, of Democracy in its)—Science, testing absolutely all thoughts, all works, has already burst well upon the world—a sun, mounting, most illuminating, most glorious—surely never again to set. But against it, deeply entrench'd, holding possession, yet remains, (not only through the churches and schools, but by imaginative literature, and unregenerate poetry,) the fossil theology of the mythic-materialistic, superstitious, untaught and credulous, fable-loving, primitive ages of humanity.
I've always wondered how much can you do for your fellow man if your hands are constantly stuck together in Prayers for them?
People think we didn't have theatres in Scotland for centuries because the Church suppressed them. Well, perhaps. But you could also argue that we had theatres in every town and village in the land: they were called kirks, and every week folk packed in to see a one-man show about life, death and the universe.
Each of those churches shows certain books, which they call revelation, or the Word of God. The Jews say that their Word of God was given by God to Moses face to face; the Christians say, that their Word of God came by divine inspiration; and the Turks say, that their Word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from heaven. Each of those churches accuses the other of unbelief; and, for my own part, I disbelieve them all.
Whenever He answers prayers, God usually prioritizes those by people who, instead of their mouths, have prayed with their hands and/or feet.
It became obvious why Catholics had built such beautiful cathedrals and churches throughout the world. Not as gathering or meeting places for Christians. But as a home for Jesus Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. Cathedrals house Jesus. Christians merely come and visit Him. The cathedrals and churches architecturally prepare our souls for the beauty of the Eucharist.
Your solution lies not in finding favor before men but before God. Learn to seek Him for your problems and His favor will meet you.
The places of quiet are going away, the churches, the woods, the libraries. And it is only in silence we can hear the voice inside of us which gives us true peace.
Going to church is a beautiful act of humility. You are saying to the world, I need God and His family.
I think more people would stay active in church, if they didn't get so offended by the actions of members. Sometimes, you have to view places of worship as free mental health clinics, in order to deal with the piety or hypocrisy. Parishioners are a wounded souls in various stages of healing, who are being treated by angels, with credentials from the University of Hard Knocks. Some take their therapy seriously and try to practice what they learned. Yet, others down the sacrament like a healing dose of Prozac, with no other effort required. When you keep this in mind, you won't feel so annoyed by the personalities you encounter.
The man who attempts Christianity without the church shoots himself in the foot, shoots his children in the leg, and shoots his grandchildren in the heart.
At present, a good many men engaged in scientific pursuits, and who have signally failed in gaining recognition among their fellows, are endeavoring to make reputations among the churches by delivering weak and vapid lectures upon the 'harmony of Genesis and Geology.' Like all hypocrites, these men overstate the case to such a degree, and so turn and pervert facts and words that they succeed only in gaining the applause of other hypocrites like themselves. Among the great scientists they are regarded as generals regard sutlers who trade with both armies.Surely the time must come when the wealth of the world will not be wasted in the propagation of ignorant creeds and miraculous mistakes. The time must come when churches and cathedrals will be dedicated to the use of man; when minister and priest will deem the discoveries of the living of more importance than the errors of the dead; when the truths of Nature will outrank the 'sacred' falsehoods of the past, and when a single fact will outweigh all the miracles of Holy Writ.Who can over estimate the progress of the world if all the money wasted in superstition could be used to enlighten, elevate and civilize mankind?When every church becomes a school, every cathedral a university, every clergyman a teacher, and all their hearers brave and honest thinkers, then, and not until then, will the dream of poet, patriot, philanthropist and philosopher, become a real and blessed truth.
Truth changes with the season of our emotions. It is the shadow that moves with the phases of our inner sun. When the nights falls, only our perception can guess where it hides in the dark. Within every solar system of the soul lies a plan of what truth is--- the design God has created, in our own unique story. This is as varying as the constellations, and as turning as the tide. It is not one truth we live to, but many. If we ever hope to determine if there is such a thing as truth, apart from cultural and personal preferences, we must acknowledge that we are then aiming to discover something greater than ourselves, something that transcends culture and individual inclinations. Some say that we must look beyond ourselves and outside of ourselves. However, we don’t need to look farther than what is already in each other. If there was any great plan from a higher power it is a simplistic, repetitious theme found in all religions; the basic core importance to unity comes from shared theological and humanistic virtues. Beyond the synagogue, mosques, temples, churches, missionary work, church positions and religious rituals comes a simple “message of truth” found in all of us, that binds theology---holistic virtues combined with purpose is the foundation of spiritual evolution. The diversity among us all is not divided truth, but the opportunity for unity through these shared values. Truth is the framework and roadmap of positive virtues. It unifies diversity when we choose to see it and use it. It is simple message often lost among the rituals, cultural traditions and socializing that goes on behind the chapel doors of any religion or spiritual theology. As we fight among ourselves about what religion, culture or race is right, we often lose site of the simple message any great orator has whispered through time----a simplistic story explaining the importance of virtues, which magically reemphasizes the importance of loving one another through service.
Temples and churches have become social centers. They have lost their original purpose because the minds of the people are more attracted to worldly things than to prayer. The lips repeat the prayer mechanically like a phonograph record, but the mind wanders to other places. (23-24)
First of all, it's friendship with God that makes possible friendship with one another in a manner that is not that we just like one another, but that were are joined by common judgments, by God, for the good of God's church. Such friendship occurs not by trying to be each other's friend, but by discovering you were engaged in common good work that is so determinative, you cannot live without one another. Now, if the church is that, it will talk about friendship in a way that avoids the superficiality of the language of relationship. Because relationships are meant to be spontaneous and short. Friendship, if it is the friendship of God, is to be characterized by fidelity in which you are even willing to tell the friend the truth. Which may mean you will risk the friendship. You need to be in that kind of community to survive the loneliness that threatens all of our souls.
Many of our churches have become content with creating well-behaved constituents instead of forgiven children of God.
Go to church to learn about forgiveness; come back to become a forgiver! Go to church and learn about kindness; come back to become a kind person! If things go like that, you will be a true image of Christ after going to church only 10 times on 10 Sundays!
Knowing God is not enough; you must make Him known to others. Through your living character, you tell more about the living God!
The problem with churches of all sorts,” he continued, “is that so often they ignore the key teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, like the doctrine of love. So often we ask God to be on our side instead of asking that we be blessed enough to be on his. That said, the wheat and the tares must grow up together, and in the days of harvest they will be separated properly.
Our churches are full of people during work hours, morning, noon, evening, praying instead of being in the factories, libraries, laboratories, facilitating economic growth
Brethren, you won’t believe what I discovered. I found out that in every place, people listened to the message (the shift our churches need) with full attention and total bewilderment. The question that I kept on hearing was: “why are other Christian ministers not doing the same thing?
I am usually able to tolerate all kinds of victims of indoctrination except those who have been infected with xenophobia, racism, or homophobia.
But I do like churches. The way it feels inside. It feels good when you just sit there, like you're in a forest and everything's really quiet, except there's still this sound you can't hear.
He didn't like religion, hadn't liked it for years, but he adored churches, loved them like old scientific instruments whose time is long past but are nevertheless fascinating and strange.