A cathedral is a church, and a church a circus.

As edifice, a cathedral colloquially refers to any large and impressive church whether or not it functions specifically as a centre of episcopal hierarchy. Its more exact and classic definition originates in the …

French from the Latin from the Greek, begotten from the root-words kata (down) and hedra (a seat, base, or chair), such that a cathedral strictly is any church which contains the seat of a bishop governing an ecclesiastical region (bishopric) for any Christian denomination with an episcopal hierarchy – i.e. Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and some Lutheran and Methodist churches – and thus serve as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate.

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There are exceptions:

  • Pre-Reformation churches in Scotland which have retained the term cathedral despite their Presbyterian (i.e. bishop-less) polity
  • Protestant churches in Germany co-operating under umbrella organisations which have retained the term cathedral or use it merely as an honorary title and function, void of any hierarchical supremacy
  • European church-monasteries (e.g. Strasbourg, Essen, Freiburg, Lincoln and Southwell) served by canons living in community or which were (again, prior to the Reformation) once abbeys

The abbey (Latin, from the Aramaic, abba, “father”), is the other kind of great church in Western Europe, historically a Catholic (or more recently Anglican) monastery or convent, under the authority of an Abbot or Abbess, who served as the spiritual head of the community.

In modern English usage, a convent invariably refers to a community of (or building for) sisters or nuns particularly of the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion. Priory or friary are used specifically for a male community, although historically the terms have often been used interchangeably, so that:

  • Monastery or Nunnery: a community of religious life usually conducted under a common rule and characterized by celibacy and poverty and obedience; any complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplace(s) of monastics (secluded and contemplative, strictly disciplined or regimented, self-abnegating and austere individuals), whether monks or nuns, and whether living in communities or alone.
  • Convent or Friary: a community of mendicants – members of any of several orders of friars that originally forbade ownership of property, subsisting mostly on alms.

The terms abbey and priory can be applied to both monasteries and canonries, any of certain religious communities living under a common rule and bound by vows, and distinguish those headed by an Abbot from the lesser dependent houses headed by a Prior.

Church v Ecclesia

The word ‘church‘, meanwhile, is derived from the same root word as the Greek for ‘circus’! The word ecclesia, on the other hand, originally referred to the public legislative assembly of the Athenians.

God is the God of the Living. Churches of episcopal hierarchy—cathedrals—are, physically (as well as spiritually) mostly churches of the dead. Formal church hierarchy is, as a rule, to be frowned upon, just as was done by the church in Ephesus:

But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

 

Marx Super Circus - Pt 1
Marx Super Circus Tent [Wikimedia Commons]

Episcopal hierarchy is not of Christ. Rather, “blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Featured Image: Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time (Middle Age European Allegory of Jewish and Catholic Faiths)

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Has the Rapture of the Church already begun?

The bible says God will seal his people in their forehead.

When someone acknowledges their sins and repents before The Lord, to be baptised (washed by the water of His Word) and born-again, there comes a point in time of that individual, an instant — perhaps after repentance and completion of their cleansing — when God seals them in their forehead and they are mentally fixed and unswayable from the ways of The Lord, so that they instantaneously and outwardly confess Yeshuah as Lord, and at once are permanently connected in a spiritual “rapture” with our Lord – one that serves to guide them a safe distant from the actual physical tribulation of the world – a metaphorical mental-spiritual “forcefield” to shield from the sorrows of the End Times.

Is this phenomenon then a “spiritual” rapture at a time of physical exultation to the Lord for those saved?

If so, has the Rapture of the Church (the “Body” of Christ) already begun?

And if so does it then come to each person individually and thereby at different times rather than a single event that captures the whole church at once?

Does not the bible say that the Antichrist would be a convincing counterfeit as to deceive the very elect, if that were possible.

The Antichrist is thus thoroughly convincing, but for the Seal of God in the elect which holds their gaze firmly fixed on The Lord – locked-in (to the truth) like an Exocet missile.

Perhaps the Rapture is none other than the moment in time then when the church receives the Seal of God – with their mind’s eye fixed on God through Yeshua.