This subject gets brought up over and over again. At first I was like, “Ugh, not again” but it ended up being a really enlightening bible study and had me researching it more.
This is what I know:
- Church is not a building
- Church means “House of the Lord”
- The Lord in this meaning doesn’t necessarily mean Christ
- The translation from ecclesia to church is long-winded
- Ecclesia better defines the biblical meaning
- Ecclesia means “to be called out”; “an assembly”
There’s a lot of information out there and a lot of debate about if it really matters what word we use to describe a group of believers. For me, word choice matters. If we use the wrong word to describe a historical event it skews how present day and future generations envision history. That’s a disservice to all.
Words are very important according to the Word of God. The following verses tell us that one of the duties of all followers of Christ is to diligently look at the words to describe His Body.
Matthew 4:4, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Matthew 12:36-37, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Proverbs 6:2, “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.”
Proverbs 30:5-6, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
Take some time, research the words and use what feels right to you. For me, I think I will change to describing our group of believers as “ecclesia”.