[quote=Elzee]Maybe it’s unique to my area, but I’ve noticed more and more that Protestants/Evangelicals are referring to themselves as ‘The Church’ (as they are all members of the* invisible* Church). I’ve also noticed new banners in the Protestant churches of a couple friends of mine ‘advertising’ they are part of ‘Gods Living Church’. I know this has always been their belief, but I’m hearing it a lot more on Protestant radio and seeing it more. In the past, I’ve typically only heard the term ‘The Church’ used by Catholics (for the most part.)
I’m wondering if this is a passive way of attacking the Catholic view of the ‘Church’. By using it more frequently in this context, people will be conditioned to the meaning they are giving it. Any thoughts?
I doubt it - people do occasionally think of other things than us and our affairs We don’t think of the Orthodox every time we use the word “ecclesiology”, even though that word is made of two Greek words; so we needn’t think that Protestants have us in mind whenever they mention the Church (besides, plenty of them deny the CC has any right to be called by so honourable a name as that of a Church).
The Bible as translated into English uses the word “Church” - so these people will use it, if they are trying to follow what it says; since they speak English.
We could always call ourselves the Vogons, and slap a copyright on the name, I suppose. Short of that, people will use the word “Church” for all sorts of reasons - it’s a bit late in the day for us to try copyrighting *that *word
FWIW, Anglican literature of the 19th century constantly refers to “the Church”, when it is referring to the established Anglican Church rather than the unestablished dissenting bodies such as Quakers, Congregationalists, and so on. What “The Church” means, depends on who you are, when you are, what your ecclesiology is, & what your neighbour’s ecclesiology is. That’s the trouble with religious words - any one can use them, whether others approve or not. ##