What is the Definition of a Church?

What is a Church?

A Church is a body of Christian believers that come together in order to worship Jesus Christ.  It can be in a building, home or another location.  Jesus Christ said that wherever there are two or more, I am in the mists of you. 

Church is often different for every believer.  Worshipping God is different for people in different parts of the world.  If you live in the United States, churches are often buildings costing millions of dollars.  If you live in the poorest regions of Africa, your church may be in a hut or building with a lot of wear and tear.  It may cost only a few hundred or thousands of dollars to put together. 

If you are an evangelist, your church might be in a tent as we saw with Billy Graham in the 20th century.  It was common for traveling evangelists to make church in a tent.  Christian believers would come to gather and worship God together anywhere that Jesus was present. 

In the first 300 years of Christianity, Christians had to remain in hiding.  Their church was often in a cave or catacomb.  Churches of worship have evolved over the past 2000 years.  Perhaps we will see churches in space one day if the return of Jesus Christ doesn’t happen sooner. 

What is the Presbyterian Church?

The Presbyterian Church is a well-known denomination in the United States and in many parts of the world.   It is one of the largest churches in the United States that is part of the reformed tradition.

You can find a Presbyterian church in any state in America today.  There are almost 1.5 million members in the Presbyterian church today.  Over the past 20 years, the church has seen a decline in membership and already established members have dropped out of church attendance significantly. 

The Presbyterian church was founded in the 1600’s.  It was during the reformation period that the church was born. The attorney John Calvin is said to have ignited the Presbyterian church to be born.  He had a lot of writings that talked about what it is to be a reformed Christian.  He was well known in Europe. 

Later, a Roman Catholic priest by the name of John Knox became fascinated with the writings of John Calvin.  This priest took John Calvin’s writings with him to Scotland and then from there, a Scottish reformation period was born in the late 1500’s. 

The Ulster Scots were the first to bring Presbyterianism to Ireland.   It was the Scottish and the Irish that brought the Presbyterian church to America in 1640.  Presbyterians had an emotional way in which they worshipped God.  Therefore, it attracted many uneducated white and black men and women.  The church was the first to introduce a simple form of worship and singing psalms. 

The Presbyterian church got started after the USA gained its independence from Great Britain.  The first meeting of the Elders happened in the year 1789.  It was led by the President of Princeton University John Witherspoon.  The bible is the foundation of what the church believes in. 

What is the Catholic Church?

The Roman Catholic Church (another name for Catholic Church) is the largest Christian denomination in the world.   It has denominations all over the world.  It has approximately 1.5 billion members that are baptized. 

The head of the Roman Catholic church is known as the Pope.  There have been 266 popes. The Catholic Church believes that it is the only true church of Jesus Christ.  They believe that it was Jesus that appointed Peter to be the head of the church and then the leadership was passed down from generation to generation to other men that were known as a pope.  Peter the apostle is the first pope of the Roman Catholic church. 

The Catholic church believes that the Eucharist becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ once it has been blessed by a priest.  Most people don’t know that the Catholic church is the biggest provider of healthcare and education throughout the world besides the government.  Its interesting how many people think that the Catholic church is greedy and doesn’t takes all the money from the poor when it is the biggest giver to the poor.

The Catholic church has had its impact on art, science and culture throughout the world.  In order to become a Catholic priest, a man must obtain a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and a master’s in divinity.  Currently, women are not allowed to be ordained as a priest in the Catholic church.

Christianity has been around since the 1st century.  After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the apostles began spreading the word of salvation through Jesus Christ.  This spread out through the Roman Empire.

Christianity survived many years of persecution and disciples being given a death penalty for preaching or teaching about Jesus.  For the first 300 years, Christianity was not considered an established religion. It wasn’t until the year 313 that Constantine established the Catholic church as a religion recognized by Rome.  Even the first Pope Saint Peter was crucified upside down for preaching and teaching about Jesus Christ. 

Eventually, Christianity began to spread to different parts of the world as technology evolved.  Many people would travel by boat, air, radio, television and now the internet to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Today, the Pope has great influence over political issues.  Many world leaders look up to the Pope for advice and leadership. 

All the Christian churches hold Jesus at the center of the church. 

When Did the Reformation Period Take Place?

The reformation period was between 1517 – 1648.

What is Baptism? 

Jesus Christ himself was baptized by John the Baptist.  Baptism is a time in which a person gives themselves to God and turns away from their sins.  Jesus was a man that had no sin and yet was baptized because he said that it must be so. When he got baptized, the holy spirit came upon him like a dove. 

In the Catholic church, one gets baptized when they are a baby.  In protestant churches, a person gets baptized when they can decide on their own to repent of their sins and follow Jesus.  John the Baptist is probably the most recognized person to have ever done baptism. 

Why Do People Use the Term Preacher?

Preacher is a term in which many Christians use to describe a pastors teaching.  It is also used for evangelists as well.  A preacher is one that will preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. In some protestant circles, someone in the pastor’s congregation will say, “preach on preacher.”  The preacher is the one that is bringing the word of God to people.  It can be a man or woman.

What is the Episcopal Church?

The Episcopal church is part of the Anglican Communion. It is primarily based in America. It has 9 provinces.  Instead of a pope, it has a head Bishop.  There are around 2 million Episcopalians in the United States.  It is the fourteenth largest Christian church in America today. 

The start of the church happened after the American revolution.  The church does ordain both men and women into the priesthood. 

Other Christian Church Denominations:

United Methodist Church

Mormon

First Baptist Church

Methodist

Seventh Day Adventist

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