The image of a church building can be viewed in a number of ways. One such view sees the church as an institution - authoritarian, legalistic, exclusive, responsible for wars and used to oppress the masses. History has revealed a powerful political institution driven to preserve its authority and characterised by deceit, greed and power.
But there is another view that I have personally experienced. That is, a community of imperfect believers, serving one another and humanity at large, inclusive and loving. The church is not a building but “Home”, where an individual is nourished and finds meaning to their earthly existence. God’s Kingdom on earth, where it co exists in a broken and sinful world, is characterised by longsuffering and forgiveness. The wonderful legacy of the Christian Church is significant!
- The personal transformation of billions of human beings
- Some of the greatest art in existence
- Some of the greatest music in existence
- Some of the best literature in existence
- The foundation of the political ideas for individual life, liberty, equality, exercise of conscience, understanding of human nature in terms of the need for checks and balances, and the importance of the rule of law, applicable to all regardless of status
- The moral underpinnings for charitable organizations, including two of the largest in the world - the Red Cross and the Salvation army
- The foundation of thousands of hospitals
- The foundation of countless schools, colleges, and universities, some of which are the most renown schools of all time
- The ending of slavery
- The foundation of scientific exploration
That's a short list.