If you had a billion people in your non-Catholic church-


#1

How would you run it?


#2

i don’t mean for this to come off as rude, but what is the point of this question?


#3

[quote=Thetan]i don’t mean for this to come off as rude, but what is the point of this question?
[/quote]

We catch a lot of grief about the Pope and hierarchy, or (for lack of a better term-) government of the Catholic Church. Since so many dislike it, they must have put some thought into how a large church should be run.

Zat better?


#4

The Church of Scientology currently has 8 million members, and I’m guessing that if and when it has 1 billion members, it will be run in the same manner it is today:

The Church of Scientology firstly has 7 divisions:

  1. Hubbard Communications Office(HCO) Division
  2. Dissemination Division
  3. Treasury Division
  4. Technical Division
  5. Qualifications Division
  6. Public Division
  7. Executive Division

Divisions 1,2, and 7 are under the HCO Executive Secretary, and 3-6 are under the Organization Executive Secretary. In turn, these two are under the Executive Director. This organization pattern is found in all churches of Scientology.

There are different levels or types of “churches” in Scientology:
-Field Auditors-these are people volunteer their knowledge of auditing to people in various communities, esp. in ones that don’t have a church yet. They also provide counseling, help people get off of drugs, etc. Field auditors sometimes form Auditors Associations or Dianetics and Scientology Counseling Groups. All field auditors are helped by the International Hubbard Ecclesiastical League of Pastors.

-Scientology Missions-Missions are found all over the world. They give all of Scientology’s introduction services in Scientology and Dianetics, as well as various seminars and courses, and programs(Purification Program for one). Scientologists can take their first steps on the bridge at these missions.

-Class V Organizations-these are those large churches that you might have seen in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, DC, etc. You can really feel the spirit of Scientology at these churches, but you can also begin your quest into Scientology at missions, etc. Various events happen at our churches besides our religious activities. You can receive all of the Introductory Services, as well as all dianetics and scientology auditing. You can attain the level of Clear at these Churches. You can also receive Auditor Training to the Class V level, as well as the Minister’s Course.

-Celebrity Centers specifically minister to the artist, politician, athlete, etc. They give all services that Class V Churches have, but they are hubs for the artist.

-Saint Hill Organizations-Scientologists can come to the full academic knowledge of what Scientology is. Through the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, Scientologists can study Hubbard’s 430 recorded lectures on Scientology. They minister all services given by Class V Churches, as well as Class VII auditor training, the Hubbard Solo Auditor Course, as well as auditing to eligibility for Operating Thetan(OT) Levels.

-Advanced Organizations-auditing up to New OT V, OT Doctorate Course, Class VIII auditor training

-Flag Service Organization-located in Clearwater,Florida. ministers up to New OT VI and VII, auditor training to Class XII, as well as Specialized Auditing

-Flag Ship Service Organization-on the Freewinds vessel. Ministers the highest auditing level, New OT VIII, the Key to Life, etc.

Scientology is managed by various divisions. Some are:
-the International Hubbard Ecclesiastical League of Pastors
-the Scientology Missions International
-the Church of Scientology International(at the top of the administration of the Church of Scientology)

And of course there is the Religious Technology Center, which safeguards the powerful services offered through Dianetics and Scientology. It makes sure that the same services are applied the same way everywhere. It safeguards the trademarks and copyrights owned by the Church of Scientology, so that schismatic groups can’t misapply the beliefs and techniques of Scientology.

Then there is the International Association of Scientologists.

So, I do think that Scientology is well equipped to manage a church of a billion people. Many other religious groups have larger numbers and are able to manage their churches, making sure that certain beliefs are shown to be valid/true. The Church of Scientology has a very complex management structure, and this isn’t unique to Catholicism, though the Catholic Church does do a good job of “running” its church.

sorry if that was too long.


#5

Sounds a lot more like a company to me


#6

[quote=mark a]How would you run it?
[/quote]

Very carefully (I Kings 3:9).

Actually, I would apply immediately to the Pope for admission to the Catholic Church.

  • Liberian

#7

[quote=Lazerlike42]Sounds a lot more like a company to me
[/quote]

I’ve heard the same comment made in relation to the Catholic Church, with the various offices, types of churches, hierarchy, etc. This is no different in Scientology.


#8

[quote=Thetan]I’ve heard the same comment made in relation to the Catholic Church, with the various offices, types of churches, hierarchy, etc. This is no different in Scientology.
[/quote]

Yes there is. The simple existence of a hierarchy and offices and whatnot don’t make Scientology seem like a company, it’s the nature of them and the specific way they are meant to function. The Catholic Church may have offices and hierarchies, but they nature of them is completely different. In fact, many Protestant Churches have very similar hierarchies too.


#9

i still fail to see how these offices in Scientology make it look like a corporation. Each office has a specific, logical purpose in each church of Scientology. The Executive Division ensures the expansion and future of Scientology around the world. The Communications Division helps visitors to churches become acclimated with Scientology through tours, exhibits, books, etc. The Dissemination Division publishes magazines, as well as the various books that describe the various beliefs of Scientology. I have the general descriptions of the Organization Board found in each church of Scientology, and I don’t see how it looks like a corporation. Similar organization can be found in other churches in various forms.


#10

[quote=mark a]How would you run it?
[/quote]

Hindus number about a billion, and they’ve been open for business for at least 5000 years. I hear that they are very de-centralized. :smiley:


#11

Adventists number 15 million worldwide. They, like Catholics, have a strong sense of the need for absolute doctrinal & organizational unity. Their structure (from bottom to top):

Church
(equivalent to a parish)

Conference
(equivalent to diocese, with very powerful conference president)

Union Conference
(kind of equivalent to an archdiocese/metropolita, but not really since it is built up of conferences, and not a conference in and of itself; provides leadership for the conferences beneath it, but has MUCH less power)

Division
(equivalent to a conference of bishops within a country, or, among Adventists, usually a large portion of a continent, wields more power, certainly wields an extensive influence)

General Conference of the World Church
(lol, the Roman Curia - a great amount of power doctrinally, not so much organizationally, though it coordinates Church activities - the president of the GC is not strong, but provides leadership)

Major Church doctrinal discussions/business occurs in a world-wide General Conference session (every five years) Annual sessions of the GC handle lesser business. Other operations of the GC occur day to day.

So yeah… lol, thats how u run a large church… HIERARCHY. Funny enough, the Adventist Church is criticized by some independent Adventists who caim the Church is too “Catholic” in its structure. :smiley:

Food for thought.

  • Hugo

#12

[quote=Ahimsa]Hindus number about a billion, and they’ve been open for business for at least 5000 years. I hear that they are very de-centralized. :smiley:
[/quote]

Hindus number actually at around 500 million, and Hinduism isn’t exactly one religion per-se. It is a description of the religions which were derived from the ancient Vedic texts. Lots of the varying Hindu religions have huge differences. It would almost be like saying that Jews and Christians are one religion because they are derived from the same basic backgrounds.


#13

[quote=Semper Fi]Hindus number actually at around 500 million, and Hinduism isn’t exactly one religion per-se. It is a description of the religions which were derived from the ancient Vedic texts. Lots of the varying Hindu religions have huge differences. It would almost be like saying that Jews and Christians are one religion because they are derived from the same basic backgrounds.
[/quote]

It all depends on how you define “religion”.

Why not see Christians and Jews as members of one “religion”, since both claim to follow the God of Abraham, no? (And just because you’re members of one “religion” doesn’t mean you necessarily treat each other lovey-dovey.)

But you have a point: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam can collectively be called “Abrahamic”, and the various Hindu traditions can be called, well, “Hindu”.

The Hindus seem to get along pretty well with one another, whereas the Abrahamics have some “sibling rivalry”, so to speak. :smiley:

On the population of Hindus, 1 billion was a bit of an exaggeration: it’s more like 750 million; I’ve never seen 500 million given as a figure (for 2000 population estimates). But the point is that one can have a huge religion, in a decentralized manner. However, you would have to tolerate diversity in doctrine (otherwise known as “heresy” in certain circles:)).


#14

[quote=Thetan]So, I do think that Scientology is well equipped to manage a church of a billion people. Many other religious groups have larger numbers and are able to manage their churches, making sure that certain beliefs are shown to be valid/true. The Church of Scientology has a very complex management structure, and this isn’t unique to Catholicism, though the Catholic Church does do a good job of “running” its church.

sorry if that was too long.
[/quote]

That is a very nice presentation. Thanks.


#15

It’s like we are all trying to be God’s favorite by fighting with each other instead of doing what he asks. Boy does that ring a bell.

However, you would have to tolerate diversity in doctrine (otherwise known as “heresy” in certain circles:)).

Hmmmmm.


#16

[quote=mark a]How would you run it?
[/quote]

Well, for starters, I guess I’d purchase the adjoining county and pave it for parking, then run shuttle buses to the main entrance.

And I’d build extra restrooms.

Seriously, though, nine times out of ten in the New Testament, the word “church” refers to a local assembly, not to God’s universal church that includes all of the saved.

Churches that follow a “congregational” type of polity (“government”) need very little hierarchy. Like fire ants, they can just multiply congregations infinitely.

Churches that do have hierarchies don’t criticize the Catholics for having a hierarchy.


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