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Crystal Cathedral had its day
The Guardian ^ | Nov. 5, 2010 | Harriet Baber

Posted on 11/12/2010 10:13:27 PM PST by hiho hiho

On 18 October 2010, Southern California's landmark Crystal Cathedral, the prototype of all late 20th Century American Megachurches, filed for bankruptcy. I drove up the following Sunday to get a look at the place while it was still in operation.

The Crystal Cathedral proper, a spectacular glass structure designed by Philip Johnson and completed in 1980, dominates a landscaped campus that includes the congregation's original church building, designed by Richard Neutra, Richard Meier's "Welcoming Center", and a variety of other buildings, reflecting pools and religiously themed statuary. A German tourist prevailed on me to take a picture of him and his wife posing in a larger-than-life tableau of Jesus as Good Shepherd.

The campus and decor are the culmination of a high-church revival in American Protestantism that began in the 19th century. It was then that evangelical Christians, who had traditionally assembled in meeting houses and preaching halls, constructed faux-Gothic edifices, dressed their preachers in gowns, and "beautified" their services, exchanging tedium for vulgarity. By the mid-20th century, they had appropriated all the "potent symbols of cinema secularism" theologian Reinhold Niebuhr described in his rendition of an evangelical Easter service conducted, as was not uncommon, in a movie theatre:

===

I thought religion was a window into heaven, into another world of power, glory and intensity, to the contemplation of divine beauty. When I got religion, I never imagined this flat, dull evangelicalism.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Current Events; General Discusssion; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: christians; crystalcathedral; evangelicals; megachurch; socal
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1 posted on 11/12/2010 10:13:31 PM PST by hiho hiho
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To: hiho hiho

Sad read, not because I care about Schuller, but what he has done in the name (nominally) of Jesus.


2 posted on 11/12/2010 10:28:45 PM PST by norge (The amiable dunce is back, wearing a skirt and high heels.)
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To: hiho hiho

Sad read, not because I care about Schuller, but what he has done in the name (nominally) of Jesus.


3 posted on 11/12/2010 10:28:49 PM PST by norge (The amiable dunce is back, wearing a skirt and high heels.)
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To: hiho hiho
When I got religion, I never imagined this flat, dull evangelicalism.

I recall a line from one of Vonnegut's later novels - "What is more Protean than adultery. Nothing."

Maybe spirituality is more Protean than adultery ... I feel sure of it.

4 posted on 11/12/2010 10:31:18 PM PST by dr_lew
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: guerito1

Now maybe the neighbor can buy the church’s property AFTER the church goes begging to him! I always like happy endings.

I don’t see it as a Christian Church at all - since it’s all about man and not about Christ. However, my opinion is from watching it 2x’s - one when the owner spoke and then his son.

Why do they wear gowns? Are they affiliated with some denomination or is this their own creation?


6 posted on 11/12/2010 10:53:10 PM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: guerito1

There was a church in Cashmere, Washington in, I believe, the late 70’s or early 80’s that was “the church to go to” if you were anybody. They had a building program that inspired members to mortgage their homes to give to the “building program”. And a lot of people did.

Then one day an officer of the church ran off with the money.


7 posted on 11/12/2010 10:53:23 PM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: hiho hiho

“Beyond that, as a religious believer I was disheartened. Was this all religion was: Cheerful platitudes and advice for successful living? Recipes for doing well in this world and the next? A pleasant place to pass an hour or two: an uplifting programme, brunch in the Welcoming Center and a stroll through the grounds?

I thought religion was a window into heaven, into another world of power, glory and intensity, to the contemplation of divine beauty. When I got religion, I never imagined this flat, dull evangelicalism.”

Wow. Good article.


8 posted on 11/12/2010 11:09:11 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: hiho hiho

“Beyond that, as a religious believer I was disheartened. Was this all religion was: Cheerful platitudes and advice for successful living? Recipes for doing well in this world and the next? A pleasant place to pass an hour or two: an uplifting programme, brunch in the Welcoming Center and a stroll through the grounds?

I thought religion was a window into heaven, into another world of power, glory and intensity, to the contemplation of divine beauty. When I got religion, I never imagined this flat, dull evangelicalism.”

Wow. Good article.


9 posted on 11/12/2010 11:09:20 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: dr_lew

I searched for “protean adultery” just to see if I could nail the source, and the first hits were my own FR posting! Then there was some crazy site loaded with ads and links with the title “KURT VONNEGUT JAILBIRD BY THE SAME AUTHOR PLAYER PIANO THE SIRENS” ... well, I guess that would be THE SIRENS OF TITAN. Anyway, I think JAILBIRD was it, but I don’t see any other mention of it at this site! It’s all getting too weird for me.


12 posted on 11/12/2010 11:35:41 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: hiho hiho

He and his whole family are extremely unpleasant neighbors. I’m just sayin. Not good people.


13 posted on 11/12/2010 11:38:57 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: guerito1
As a practicing Christian then, and now, I have always believed that it doesn’t necessarily matter

amen! give me an old, run-down barn... that would work just fine!

14 posted on 11/12/2010 11:42:29 PM PST by latina4dubya ( self-proclaimed tequila snob)
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To: hiho hiho
All I know about Jesus I learned from carefully reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (not in that order, though). It's strictly my opinion, of course, but I have a feeling Jesus would be embarrassed by this:


15 posted on 11/12/2010 11:42:56 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: presently no screen name

He originally comes from dutch reform church of america.


16 posted on 11/12/2010 11:46:47 PM PST by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: guerito1
Made me physically ill listening to them.

I know, it did the same to me. I didn't 'stay toned' - I was flicking through and paused a bit. I hope those members come to learn that is not Christian not matter what they call that Church.
17 posted on 11/12/2010 11:49:22 PM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: johngrace
Thank you. Whatever that is dutch reform church of america., is he the same as them - or is this his own creation - what he wants church to be.
18 posted on 11/12/2010 11:52:06 PM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: latina4dubya

We can have ‘church’ anywhere as the HS leads. YES!


20 posted on 11/12/2010 11:56:54 PM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: dr_lew
Just for technical purposes, let me note that the actual quote from the book occurs in the Google blurb, but was not at the site, as far as I could discern.

KURT VONNEGUT JAILBIRD BY THE SAME AUTHOR PLAYER PIANO THE SIRENSApr 7, 2010 ... What is more protean than adultery? Nothing in this world. "I am thinking of going on a ...... Love as Always, Kurt: Vonnegut as I Knew Him ... www.docstoc.com/.../KURT-VONNEGUT-JAILBIRD-BY-THE-SAME-AUTHOR-PLAYER-PIANO-THE-SIRENS - Cached

23 posted on 11/13/2010 12:06:10 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: hiho hiho; All

I have found that the truth of Gods Grace today is sorely only understood by so few; and mega churches like this one preached many incorrect doctrines which we’re not accurate from the Bible doctrine given to the apostle Paul. I only attend after fully reading their statement of faith; and I have visited on-line many mega-church web sites to review their statement of faith and then follow the writings of these often false teachers. First point: 1 Timothy 2:12-13 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Men should be teachers, not women. Churches that promote women as teachers have brought in deceiving spirits of false doctrines. If you do not believe me, then check out the scriptures in Romans through Philemon: these are the doctrines and scriptures for the church today. 1 Timothy 4 reads: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron... The apostle Paul through Christ, speaks volumes of truth here to Timothy and us today. Let us learn from Paul and Christ, not doctrines of devils which are so often taught at these mega-churches, simply to raise money and self fame; and not to preach Christ and His correct doctrines rightly. Avoid such teachers. Note The reference to smaller churches above which have only a few believers is indicative that only a few people inside my community would come to the knowledge of correct Bible doctrine and believe it from the Bible alone and not man’s tradition and/or additions to the Bible (as is common in so many large churches, like mega-churches and Roman Catholic churches). I have found that true Bible doctrine is rarely found in large population of membership... but God’s Word has been deposited and understood correctly and Biblically by the unknowns of the world; and certainly small in numerical numbers: thus I only attend small churches with few believers.


24 posted on 11/13/2010 12:14:58 AM PST by bibletruth
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To: guerito1

I didn’t go to the link but just did when you mention Pastor Rick - SO hoping you didn’t mean Rick Warren.

But you did. An another one that so many got suckered into. Strange he built so close to the CC.


25 posted on 11/13/2010 12:15:49 AM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: dr_lew

Are we being spotlighted? It certainly seems so. A google search of “protean” returned, for its FIRST HIT, just now:

Crystal Cathedral had its day20 posts - 11 authors - Last post: 4 minutes ago
I recall a line from one of Vonnegut’s later novels - “What is more Protean than adultery. Nothing.” Maybe spirituality is more Protean than ...
www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2626526/posts?page=18


26 posted on 11/13/2010 12:17:46 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: presently no screen name

I think now that you asked he is still affiliated somehow! I remember interview with larry king. If you want go to You Tube type His name and larry king. It will come up with video’s. His answer for not talking about hell or repentance is strange.


27 posted on 11/13/2010 12:18:41 AM PST by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: MarkBsnr; Running On Empty; kosta50; Mad Dawg; Judith Anne; narses; dsc; wagglebee; Petronski; ...
The campus and decor are the culmination of a high-church revival in American Protestantism that began in the 19th century. It was then that evangelical Christians, who had traditionally assembled in meeting houses and preaching halls, constructed faux-Gothic edifices, dressed their preachers in gowns, and "beautified" their services, exchanging tedium for vulgarity.

That seems to be the case when you try and strip The Church into parts ("oh, we won't have sacraments and songs are the work of the devil, only preaching is good") --> these groups veered wildly from one extreme to another. They wanted to have only austerity and solemnity and grayness and took it to an extreme. Then they turned to the other extreme

G.K. Chesterton put it well when he said
When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage.

The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful


- "Orthodoxy"

28 posted on 11/13/2010 12:20:59 AM PST by Cronos (This Church is Holy,theOne Church,theTrue Church,theCatholic Church - St. Augustine)
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To: bibletruth

I read about how Warren’s book was used by many churches (as a study) throughout the country. The pastors of these churches lacked wisdom and discernment and allowed deception to enter in.


29 posted on 11/13/2010 12:25:48 AM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: Lancey Howard

If orange county were to legalize gambling and want to open a casino, I think they have a head start.


30 posted on 11/13/2010 12:26:32 AM PST by Lockbar (March toward the sound of the guns.)
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: Cronos

They veered about from God’s Word or never knew God’s Word.

It’s not complicated. Those churches are all about ‘man’.

God’s Church is ALL about JESUS! And His Body of Believers go to HIM for everything. Never man.


32 posted on 11/13/2010 12:32:35 AM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: guerito1

Totally agree! Evil always wants to be associated with good. That’s why they want to pro-claim they are Christians.
Yet, they don’t know the ‘good news’, the Gospel.

Christians follow Christ, not man.


33 posted on 11/13/2010 12:36:25 AM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: presently no screen name
The denomination is the Reformed church of America, the North American branch of the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1819, it incorporated as the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church. It holds or held to the "Reformed" Heidelberg confession. This is the ultimate demise of such short-lived, non-Christ-filled groups
34 posted on 11/13/2010 12:40:24 AM PST by Cronos (This Church is Holy,theOne Church,theTrue Church,theCatholic Church - St. Augustine)
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To: presently no screen name
The article is good and goes on to state
Fashion dominates the world of evangelical Christianity and its therapeutic penumbra. The Crystal Cathedral, that glitzy architectural marvel, has become a 1980s nostalgia item. Now Rick Warren is the anointed leader of America's "People of Faith" and, for the time being, Orange county crowds are flocking to Saddleback's dull preaching halls

35 posted on 11/13/2010 12:41:15 AM PST by Cronos (This Church is Holy,theOne Church,theTrue Church,theCatholic Church - St. Augustine)
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To: Cronos; MarkBsnr; Running On Empty; kosta50; Mad Dawg; Judith Anne; narses; dsc; wagglebee; ...
Why did they file for bankruptcy?
36 posted on 11/13/2010 12:41:37 AM PST by kosta50 (God is tired of repenting -- Jeremiah 15:6, KJV)
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To: bibletruth
bibtut :Word has been deposited and understood correctly and Biblically by the unknowns of the world; and certainly small in numerical numbers: --> Unfortunately the group that believes in secret knowledge is Gnosticism. Your group's heresy was discounted in early Christianity since Gnosticism denies the divinity of Christ and the union of Christ with the FAther and the Holy Spirit in the TRinity.
37 posted on 11/13/2010 12:44:31 AM PST by Cronos (This Church is Holy,theOne Church,theTrue Church,theCatholic Church - St. Augustine)
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To: dr_lew

Well, that seems like some kind of a blog thing they’ve got going, weighted by most recent time. I guess “protean” ha ha! isn’t mentioned that often.


38 posted on 11/13/2010 12:44:51 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: Cronos
This is the ultimate demise of such short-lived, non-Christ-filled groups

There it is - non Christ. Don't understand what could they teach/preach. At least that one was short lived but there is always another one to take it's 'I have a better way' place. It must s*ck to be so deceived.
39 posted on 11/13/2010 12:47:48 AM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: presently no screen name
True, it is always about Jesus, that's the focus of worship in orthodoxy. Christ who was born, lived, preached, died and rose from the dead for us. We need to celebrate with awe each of these stages. To restrict it to one is attempting to box up God. To restrict ourselves just to preaching the Word is not correct. To restrict ourselves just to singing and praise is not correct. The Bible includes dry history (Judges), Rules, love (the Gospels), preaching (the Epistles), songs (Psalms, the Song of Solomon), Lamentations, Joy and Judgement. We must remember all of these as our God is all of these.

---------------------

These groups did not start out being "all about man" as you correctly put it, but they started as one type of reaction. The error they made was to veer too far away and they slipped into dry austerity. This is best exampled in Mansfield Park by Austen.

And there was an adverse reaction against these leading to the megakirks and the acts of "Bishop" Long, the "cross-it" baptist preacherman. These extremes lead to errors
40 posted on 11/13/2010 12:51:43 AM PST by Cronos (This Church is Holy,theOne Church,theTrue Church,theCatholic Church - St. Augustine)
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To: kosta50

it seems they spent too much money on the pastor, his son and four daughters. I dunno how many rolls royces they had though..


41 posted on 11/13/2010 12:57:41 AM PST by Cronos (This Church is Holy,theOne Church,theTrue Church,theCatholic Church - St. Augustine)
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To: Cronos
These extremes lead to errors

What leads to error is veering from The Truth, HIS Word - where Truth resides. Satan always comes to steal the Word. And these churches obliged him.

Praise and Worship, Hearing The Word, Fellowship with Our Father. And we can do this because JESUS finished it ALL! It's the straight and narrow path untainted by man.
42 posted on 11/13/2010 12:59:01 AM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: Cronos; kosta50

Right, they squander the money on the things of this life that have no eternal value. IIRC, that welcome center in the pix above is newly built and perhaps got into MORE debt over that. But they sold property, the article stated for $55M and they are still in major debt.

I didn’t complete the article. Did it say if that property is for sale?


43 posted on 11/13/2010 1:06:59 AM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: Cronos

The Dutch Reformed Church remained the largest church body in the Netherlands until the middle of the 20th century, when it was overtaken by the Roman Catholic Church.

The rapid secularization of the Netherlands in the 1960s dramatically reduced participation in the mainstream Protestant church.


44 posted on 11/13/2010 1:12:23 AM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: presently no screen name

Exactly — but most of those who do veer, don’t intend to do so —> for example, here the Dutch Reformed thought that their austerity and stripped down places of worship were correct, but that was one extreme. This led to the other extreme — namely that of over-indulgence.


45 posted on 11/13/2010 1:15:18 AM PST by Cronos (This Church is Holy,theOne Church,theTrue Church,theCatholic Church - St. Augustine)
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To: hiho hiho
There was nothing Christian about that monstrosity.
46 posted on 11/13/2010 1:21:25 AM PST by fortheDeclaration (When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Pr.29:2))
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To: presently no screen name
True, the article goes on to say
But there is nothing new under the sun. Saddleback and the Crystal Cathedral, Willow Creek and all the other evangelical megachurches that have had their time in the sun sell the same product: mind-power through talk-magic, which in secular packaging is just what all the innumerable therapies and self-help programmes on the market promise

Twelve-step programmes, beginning with Alcoholics Anonymous, appropriated the conversion scenario of revivalism, eliminating references to Jesus in favour of appeals to a generic "higher power". Later self-help programmes and therapies dispensed with supernatural intermediaries altogether. Learning the right tricks and gimmicks, thinking the right thoughts and acquiring the proper attitudes would directly, by a law of nature, make good things happen for you

Schuller, Warren and other new-style evangelical preachers, who focus on this-worldly improvement rather than otherworldly salvation, have not sold out Christianity in favour of secular self-help. They have simply reappropriated those bits of evangelical Christianity that cycled through the secularisation process and emerged as therapies, having in the process acquired the veneer of science.


47 posted on 11/13/2010 1:22:45 AM PST by Cronos (This Church is Holy,theOne Church,theTrue Church,theCatholic Church - St. Augustine)
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To: Cronos
but most of those who do veer, don’t intend to do so

Totally agree. That's why God's Word is important and one must be grounded in it. Deception doesn't come in with a bang, it slithers like a snake.
48 posted on 11/13/2010 1:30:37 AM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: Cronos

Back to ‘man’ again. Their way instead of God’s Way. It’s the same old thing, just change the names. Deception comes in when The Word is allowed out.

God’s Word/His Way never changes. His Church never changes.
His church is His Body and each member of His Body has the Holy Spirit. They are the ‘temple/church’ of the Holy Spirit.

So churches can and will go bankrupt - but HIS CHURCH never will. He doesn’t live in buildings but in HIS children.


49 posted on 11/13/2010 1:40:43 AM PST by presently no screen name ("Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.." Mark 7:13)
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To: Lancey Howard

It looks a little bit like a church. Not like that $100-million cement plant Roger Dodger built.


50 posted on 11/13/2010 1:50:11 AM PST by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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