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The problem is not that the churches are filled with empty pews, but that the pews are filled with empty people.

Where God builds a church the devil builds a chapel.
He who is near the Church is often far from God.
A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.
A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there.
I have no objections to churches so long as they do not interfere with God's work.
The first time I sang in the church choir; two hundred people changed their religion.
She say, Celie, tell the truth, have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.
The root of almost every schism and heresy from which the Christian Church has suffered, has been because of the effort of men to earn, rather than receive their salvation; and the reason preaching is so commonly ineffective is, that it often calls on people to work for God rather than letting God work through them.
Here, the churches seemed to shrink away into eroding corners. They seem to have ceased to be essential parts of American life. They no longer give life. It is the huge buildings of commerce and trade which now align the people to attention. These in their massive manner of steel and stone say, Come unto me all ye who labor, and we will give you work.
The priesthood is a marriage. People often start by falling in love, and they go on for years without realizing that love must change into some other love which is so unlike it that it can hardly be recognized as love at all.
The Christian church is a society of sinners. It is the only society in the world, membership in which is based upon the single qualification that the candidate shall be unworthy of membership.
It is one of the ironies of the ministry that the very man who works in God's name is often hardest put to find time for God. The parents of Jesus lost Him at church, and they were not the last ones to lose Him there.
Churchgoers are like coals in a fire. When they cling together, they keep the flame aglow; when they separate, they die out.
Many come to bring their clothes to church rather than themselves.
Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.
The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.
In the Church, considered as a social organism, the mysteries inevitably degenerate into beliefs.
The Pope is an idol whose hands are tied and whose feet are kissed.
Though the church has many critics, it has no rivals.
A group touring Westminster Abbey in London heard the guide list the famous people buried within its walls. During a momentary silence a little old lady's voice blurted out loud and clear, Anybody been saved here lately?
I think a bishop who doesn't give offence to anyone is probably not a good bishop.
I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution.
We sing in a church, why can we not dance there?
The greatest hindrances to the evangelization of the world are those within the church.
Yes, I see the Church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.
The separation of church and state is a source of strength, but the conscience of our nation does not call for separation between men of state and faith in the Supreme Being.
The church is so subnormal that if it ever got back to the New Testament normal it would seem to people to be abnormal.
The Church cannot be content to live in its stained-glass house and throw stones through the picture window of modern culture.
The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.
The itch of disputing is the scab of the churches.
I don't go to church. Kneeling bags my nylons.
Sign in lot: Church parking only. We will not forgive those who trespass against us.
One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organizations do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.
A little, round, fat, oily man of God.
I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.
The priesthood in many ways is the ultimate closet in Western civilization, where gay people particularly have hidden for the past two thousand years.
How can a bishop marry? How can he flirt? The most he can say is I will see you in the vestry after service.
I have, alas, only one illusion left, and that is the Archbishop of Canterbury.
What is wrong with priests and popes is that instead of being apostles and saints, they are nothing but empirics who say I know instead of I am learning, and pray for credulity and inertia as wise men pray for skepticism and activity.
A glorious Church is like a magnificent feast; there is all the variety that may be, but every one chooses out a dish or two that he likes, and lets the rest alone: how glorious soever the Church is, every one chooses out of it his own religion, by which he governs himself, and lets the rest alone.
Nearly all the evils in the Church have arisen from bishops desiring power more than light. They want authority, not outlook.
Standards of conduct appropriate to civil society or the workings of a democracy cannot be purely and simply applied to the Church.
Be neither intimate nor distant with the clergy.
Mass ought to be in Latin, unless you could do it in Greek or Chinese. In fact, any abracadabra that no bloody member of the public or half-educated ape of a clargimint could think he understood.
The act of bell ringing is symbolic of all proselytizing religions. It implies the pointless interference with the quiet of other people.
It would be far better to be of no church than to be bitter of any.
Too hot to go to Church? What about Hell?
My own mind is my own church.
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
If church prelates, past or present, had even an inkling of physiology they'd realize that what they term this inner ugliness creates and nourishes the hearing ear, the seeing eye, the active mind, and energetic body of man and woman, in the same way that dirt and dung at the roots give the plant its delicate leaves and the full-blown rose.
Many are called but few are chosen. There are sayings of Christ which suggest that the Church he came to establish will always be a minority affair.
The difference between listening to a radio sermon and going to church...is almost like the difference between calling your girl on the phone and spending an evening with her.
Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.
Once is orthodox, twice is puritanical.
Archbishop -- A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.
There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being.
This merriment of parsons is mighty offensive.
The question confronting the Church today is not any longer whether the man in the street can grasp a religious message, but how to employ the communications media so as to let him have the full impact of the Gospel message.
The Church has always been willing to swap off treasures in heaven for cash down.
But a priest's life is not supposed to be well-rounded; it is supposed to be one-pointed -- a compass, not a weathercock.
I'm a priest, not a priestess. Priestess implies mumbo jumbo and all sorts of pagan goings-on. Those who oppose us would love to call us priestesses. They can call us all the names in the world -- it's better than being invisible.
A full-dressed ecclesiastic is a sort of go-cart of divinity; an ethical automaton. A clerical prig is, in general, a very dangerous as well as contemptible character. The utmost that those who thus habitually confound their opinions and sentiments with the outside coverings of their bodies can aspire to, is a negative and neutral character, like wax-work figures, where the dress is done as much to the life as the man, and where both are respectable pieces of pasteboard, or harmless compositions of fleecy hosiery.
What makes a church great in the eyes of God? Participation, proclamation, preservation, and propagation. Every church ought to exhibit all four.
Many people are in a rut and a rut is nothing but a grave--with both ends kicked out.
It's about time we quit playing church in these services that start at eleven o clock sharp and end at twelve o clock dull.
Those who marry God can become domesticated too -- it's just as hum-drum a marriage as all the others. The word Love means a formal touch of the lips as in the ceremony of the Mass, and Ave Maria like dearest is a phrase to open a letter. This marriage like the world's marriages was held together by habits and tastes shared in common between God and themselves -- it was God's taste to be worshipped and their taste to worship, but only at stated hours like a suburban embrace on a Saturday night.
Church is the only place where someone speaks to me and I do not have to answer back.
The local church is the outcrop of the church universal.
There is not in the universe a more ridiculous, nor a more contemptible animal, than a proud clergyman.
His creed no parson ever knew, for this was still his simple plan, to have with clergymen to do as little as a Christian can.
A woman's asking for equality in the church would be comparable to a black person's demanding equality in the Ku Klux Klan.
And of all plagues with which mankind are cursed, ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst.
The parson knows enough who knows a Duke.
An instinctive taste teaches men to build their churches with spire steeples which point as with a silent finger to the sky and stars.
We praise Him, we bless Him, we adore Him, we glorify Him, and we wonder who is that baritone across the aisle and that pretty woman on our right who smells of apple blossoms. Our bowels stir and our cod itches and we amend our prayers for the spiritual life with the hope that it will not be too spiritual.
A Church which has lost its memory is in a sad state of senility.
The old cathedrals are good, but the great blue dome that hangs over everything is better.
People have described me as a management bishop but I say to my critics, Jesus was a management expert too.
I believe with all my heart that the Church of Jesus Christ should be a Church of blurred edges.
The church exists to train its member through the practice of the presence of God to be servants of others, to the end that Christlikeness may become common property.
It will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.
It is indolence... Indolence and love of ease; a want of all laudable ambition, of taste for good company, or of inclination to take the trouble of being agreeable, which make men clergymen. A clergyman has nothing to do but be slovenly and selfish; read the newspaper, watch the weather, and quarrel with his wife. His curate does all the work and the business of his own life is to dine.
He was of the faith chiefly in the sense that the church he currently did not attend was Catholic.