Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Being the Church

Wednesday June 22, 2011- I've been confused lately wondering why the early church that we read about in the book of Acts looks so different when compared to the American church of today. I understand that culture has shifted. My question is why has the church? I think more than our methodology has changed. Our mission seems to have changed in the process. So I began to look at this study. Take a moment and go with me.
Let's start by defining the word. "Church" comes from the Old English and German word pronounced "kirche." In Scotland, it was "kirk."
The following entries are from the Oxford Universal English Dictionary:
Church [Old English cirice, circe; Middle English chereche, chiriche, chirche; whence churche, cherche, etc.: -Greek Kuriakon...]
Kirk The Northern English and Scottish form of CHURCH, in all its senses.
In the earlier Greek It was pronounced "ku-ri-a-kos" or "ku-ri-a-kon." As you can see, this word doesn't even resemble the Greek word "ecclesia" whose place it has usurped. The meaning of "Ku-ri-a-kos" is understood by its root: "Ku- ri-os," which means "lord." Thus, "kuriakos" (i.e., "church") means "pertaining to the lord." It refers to something that pertains to, or belongs to, a lord. The Greek "kuriakos" eventually came to be used in Old English form as "cirice" (Kee-ree-ke), then "churche" (kerke), and eventually "church" in its traditional pronunciation. A church, then, is correctly something that "pertains to, or belongs to, a lord."
Now, as you can see, there is a major problem here. The translators broke the rules in a big way. When they inserted the word "church" in the English versions, they were not translating the Greek word "kuriakos", as one might expect. Rather, they were substituting an entirely different Greek word. This was not honest! The word "church" would have been an acceptable translation for the Greek word "kuriakos." However, not by the wildest imagination of the most liberal translator can it ever be an acceptable translation for the Greek word "ecclesia."
Are you following this?
Consider it carefully.
This truth will answer many questions you've had about churches, and the kingdom.
"Ecclesia" is an entirely different word with an entirely different meaning than "kuriakos." In fact, the Greek word "kuriakos" appears in the New Testament only twice. It is found once in I Corinthians 11:20 where it refers to "the Lord's supper," and once again in Revelation 1:10 where it refers to "the Lord's day." In both of those cases, it is translated "the Lord's..." - not "church." This word does not appear again in the New Testament. Nonetheless, this is the unlikely and strange history of the word "church" as it came to the English language. Eventually, through the manipulation of organized religion "church" came to replace "ecclesia" by popular acceptance.
Again, we must emphasize the importance of knowing word meanings in order to know the intent of those who wrote the Scriptures.
Now, let's look at the word, "ecclesia". This Greek word appears in the New Testament approximately 115 times. That's just in this one grammatical form. It appears also in other forms. And in every instance, except three, it is wrongly translated as "church" in the King James Version. Those three exceptions are found in Acts 19:32, 39, 41. In these instances the translators rendered it "assembly" instead of "church." But, the Greek word is exactly the same as the other 112 entries where it was changed to "church" wrongly.
In Acts 19, "ecclesia" is a town council: a civil body in Ephesus. Thus, the translators were forced to abandon their fake translation in these three instances. Nonetheless, 112 times they changed it to "church." This fact has been covered-up under centuries of misuse and ignorance. The Greek word "ecclesia" is correctly defined as: "The called-out (ones)" [ECC = out; KALEO = call]. Thus, you can see how this word was used to indicate a civil body of select (called, elected) people.

I have said all that to say this… We have a mercenary mentality when it comes to the Great Commission. We would rather pay to send someone else to make disciples of all nations than to do something about it ourselves. That is not the “ecclesia”. That is the reason the Church isn’t prevailing over the gates of hell. When the Church(ecclesia) moves from a mercenary mindset and grasps the missional mindset Jesus commands in Matt. 28:18-20 then the gates of hell will not prevail against the church(not the kuriakos but the ecclesia). We must ask ourselves this. “When can I get in the fight”?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

See the Positive

Tuesday June 21, 2011
Scientist W.I. Beveridge noted:

“The human mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with a similar energy.”

Greek philosopher Heraclitus had a similar insight: “Dogs bark at what they don’t understand.”
Most people have a warning device in their minds to alert them to new ideas.

Unless the idea cleanly dovetails into what they’re doing, they’ll react by saying:

“It won’t work.”
“It’s dumb.”
“I don’t get it.”

When you evaluate new ideas, however, remember that your purpose is to help get good ideas produced — not to revel in the beauty of your criticism.

Thus, when you judge new ideas, focus initially on their positive and interesting features. This will counteract a natural negative bias, and help you to develop more ideas.

Exercise: list five benefits to wearing your clothes inside out on Mondays?*

— What are two positive things you can say about your issue?
— What virtue does the idea have that’s not evident at first sight?
— What’s interesting and worth building on?
— What might be fun about implementing the idea?

Tip: The playwright Jerome Lawrence had an evaluation technique, the “creative no,” that he used whenever he collaborated with someone else.

It works like this: either member of the partnership can veto the other’s ideas. However, when one partner exercises this veto, he also takes responsibility for coming up with a new idea that both partners like. Thus, it’s not only destructive, but constructive as well.


* A few benefits to wearing your clothes inside out on Mondays: Clothes would last longer because they’d be worn on both sides. It would allow you to see where potential tears and rips are. You could display your sweat stains as “art.” It might force you to have Monday as a “work-at-home” day. It would make you buy clothes that were “soft on the outside” (e.g., no snaps or zippers) because you’d have to wear them next to your skin once a week.
(Courtesy of Roger von Oech)