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Church Architecture vs the Kingdom of God!

Church Architecture vs the Kingdom of God!

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Published by pcnplus

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: pcnplus on Jan 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 ==== ====Architecture - Click Link Nowhttp://www.pcnplus.com/Stores/index.php?cat=media.architecture ==== ====There's a battle that's been raging for years now, over computer architecture. Most computerusers don't even know about it since it's a battle between computer architectures that are"proprietary" vs. those which are "Open Source". Oddly enough, this same battle goes on amongstchurches. But let's understand this battle first in terms of your computer. Non-techi people might think that "computer architecture" must refer to what the outside of the"computer" looks like, or even the design of the motherboard. But "computer architecture" is prettymuch invisible to the end-user. One definition is this: The conceptual structure around which a given computer is designed. Basically -- no one can build a computer on a workbench without first having the plans for thatcomputer. But no one can draw up a set of plans without first having mentally conceived of whatthe computer is supposed to do, what hardware exists (processing chips, hard drives, etc.) thatcan be combined together to do the job, and what software exists (or has to be written) in order tomake the various parts do what the designers expect. The whole shebang is called a "computer system" and its design is referred to as "computerarchitecture". In today's world, many companies involved with designing and building newcomputers deliberately keep everything they do secret. They want to produce a computer thatpeople buy, go and use without anyone other than themselves knowing how they did it. The"architecture" of that computer is known as "proprietary" which today often refers to keeping thedesign and production of a new computer as much of a trade secret as possible. Here's where the battle between secrecy and Open Source comes into the picture. Many people(Open Source) think that the fundamental design of computers (and computer accessories) shouldbe open to all developers. Whatever is kept secret can be improved on only by whoever's in on"the secret". But when computer systems are being designed "in the open", there may behundreds or even thousands around the world who go to work to solve problems in the design andbring a wealth of improvements to its development. Now -- churches are designed in a similar manner: each has its own, foundational "churcharchitecture". People who go to church usually don't even realize that -- just as a computer has a"conceptual structure" around which it's designed -- churches have an internal "architecture" aswell. And most churches keep their "church architecture" so private that often not even theirpastors are aware of the demands and restrictions of that fundamental, internal design. 
Here's an example of that similarity in action: You go to a computer store to look over the availablecomputers. (Each one is different from the other because their designs are different -- their"computer architecture" or internal "conceptual structures" are different.) One strikes your fancyand you buy it and take it home. After unpacking it and setting it up, plugging it in and turning it on,you set out to download email. Do you ask yourself, "I wonder how this computer's conceptual design makes it different from anyother computer?" No. You don't care. You don't think, "Would another computer -- built accordingto a different 'architecture' -- would it be more to my liking?" No. You just use it. But if after a day or so you realize you wanted it to record videos through thebuilt-in video cam, and it apparently can't so that, you might want to return it. Only then does itdawn on you that it might not be as easy to get out of the purchase as it was to get into it. What'sthe return policy of the store? Can you return it and simply say you don't like it so you want out ofthe deal? Suddenly, the significance of that computer's "architecture" whaps you across the forehead. YouSTILL don't know what "computer architecture" is but you feel the impact of it anyway. Your newcomputer's design -- from the beginning -- never had been designed to do the one function youmostly wanted: videocam. And you might just be stuck with it. Switch over now to going to a church. If you already have one, what is its "internal architecture"and does that "fundamental design fit what you want spiritually? Look again at the definition of "computer architecture"-but reshaped to fit "church architecture": The conceptual structure around which a given church is designed. Do you think any church you go to hasn't been "designed" by someone? Certainly, when you walkup from the parking lot and look at its steeple, you know someone conceptualized that ornamentbefore anyone bought the materials and built it. And those stained glass windows or even thepretty Lucite pulpit up front, shining in the stage lights: all these elements were conceptualized byan architect before anyone installed them. But underneath the physical design of the church, understand that the function of that particularchurch has been designed as well. By someone. Many church-goers assume that God designedtheir church the way it functions. But God didn't design Sunday School anymore than He designedthe steeple or the shiny communion plates. People designed these embellishments -- and they didso following an internal, conceptual structure ("church architecture") around which every object inthat church, every function or ceremony, every project and every "ministry" follows the church's"architecture". So -- who wrote the internal, conceptual framework of the church with which you're most familiar?The one you used to attend as a child or you attend now, or even the one your friend goes to andyou've been pressured to try it out. What is the framework about which the entire organization(physical and functional) has been designed and now is being maintained? Probably you'll never know since it's proprietary. Hidden. Just like taking a new computer out of a
box and plugging it in and you just use it until it unexpectedly doesn't work the way you want. Yougo to a church for months, think you're making lots of friends -- then someone sees you buyingbeer at the QuickStop and tells the preacher who tells his wife who tells the women and the nexttime you go to church, no one speaks to you. Or someone asks you to teach a Sunday Schoolclass and you do so for three years -- and when the Sunday School Superintendent moves away,you're looking forward to stepping into that place of increased responsibility because you've beenteaching longer than anyone else; but only then do you discover the pastor's wife is afraid thePastor isn't looking at you in the dispassionate, non-sexual way you always imagined; she thinkshe's enjoying your young, good looks and abruptly you find yourself not only not leading theSunday School, but you lose your class of little tykes and the women in the church are buzzingwith how you've been "coming on" to the Pastor ("poor man... So vulnerable to an unscrupulouswoman like her...") Then there's the church board which sells bonds to its members until the board members are allthrown in jail by the IRS or the congregation in which the pastor urges "his people" to buy intosome multi-level sales organization until the entire church is in his "down-line" and making moneyfor him. (THAT one was in Sacramento, California, BTW.) If you've actually been in real, live churches for any length of time, you know the aboveillustrations hardly touch the surface of how human can treat one another within those stained-glass, religious walls. But what you might not realize is that any church that functions (mis-functions?) in a similar manner is still operating according to its internal "architecture": every localchurch and every regional or international denomination cannot even exist without someone firstconceiving of how that religious organization will function and the structure by which it canaccomplish its design. Which means that if there's discord, deceit or any human dysfunction thatthe internal design around which it was built allowed for that dysfunction. There is a church, though, in which you can participate, whose fundamental, internal design iswholesome and safe. And this church's "architecture" is not only visible, it's available for you tomake changes and alter its look and function. This church architecture is truly Open Source. Who is its designer and where can you find a working model? You might jump to a wrongconclusion and assume that the "designer" of this "Open Source" church is "God". That's usually asafe response, but it's wrong. In 1 Corinthians, Paul (the apostle) calls himself the "architect" of the church being built in theancient city of Corinth. In Greek, it's the word "architekton" and is often translated as"Masterbuilder". In Corinth, it was Paul who set out the fundamental plan for the Church -- itsstructure both visible and invisible. And he did so, openly. He wanted everyone to participate in thenature and function of the Church in which they all participated. Here's the Key and it's what you want to look for when trying to find an Open Source church: Paulkept the design incredibly simple. He clarified what the foundation of the Church had to be. Simply put, the foundation of an OpenChurch is the Person of Jesus Christ. That is, every person in the Church in Corinth had to first bein Christ. This is a supernatural union, one that often occurs in a person without the person evenrealizing it. But when a person hears what Jesus (perfect and sinless) has accomplished on the

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