Church Buildings

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Arbitrary Moderation
I've been reading a few journal articles in my free time today on Puritan church architecture; and, prompted by Bill Brown's thread on the "mini mega church," I thought I'd ask what people here thought.

What do you think about the separatist puritan arguments that Roman and heathen places of worship ought to be torn down rather than adapted for the use of true worship? Should what the building was previously used for have any impact on its use as a house of worship?

If a congregation is not meeting in houses, but is rather building its own dedicated meeting house, should anything about its external appearance indicate its purpose? Etc., etc.

I'm just looking for general thoughts.
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Puritan Board Sophomore
It seems to me to be a waste to tear down a perfectly good building. Sure if it was a former RC church, I'd take out the stations of the cross and the like if it was still there. But to me it doesn't seem to be good stewardship to destroy a perfectly good building to build another one just because you don't like what it used be. A church isn't its building.


Puritanboard Commissioner
We bought an old Baptist facility. We didn't see any need to tear it down because of its former use.

We did get rid of the baptismal pool, although I suspect there are a few here who would object to some of the stained glass that remains.

N. Eshelman

Puritan Board Senior
Did the Israelites tear down heathen places when they came into the land, or did they occupy places that they did not build?

Being a big fan of the Puritans, and a Puritan Seminary grad... I think this is an over-reaction. I would say take the old structure, free it from 2nd commandment violations, and sing unto the Lord!


Puritanboard Doctor
I have another interesting thread.
The mission in whisch I get to preach and teach, have their own buildings, but they have to sell of a lot of them, since there are fewer and fewer christians.
But they will not sell to any other denomination or anything that will use it for any kind of other worship and also not to be a bar or dancing place.
And that can be difficult, because how many other places need a building with just one giant room in it :lol:


Puritanboard Commissioner
But they will not sell to any other denomination or anything that will use it for any kind of other worship and also not to be a bar or dancing place.

Around here, that isn't usually an issue. As I mentioned up thread, we bought a building from the Baptists, who in turn bought a building from a Bible Church (hard core dispensationalists), who bought a large office building. A nearby Baptist church became a bar (and a nearby one became an apartment building.)

As churches grow or shrink, move to the suburbs or back into the city, sales among the protestant denominations isn't uncommon.

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
I think there's something remarkable about travelling through Europe and seeing these church buildings that were built in the 12th or 13th centuries now being used by Reformed churches. Imagine a church building that's been used by you and your ancestors for 700 years. I'm only speaking from my experience in the Netherlands, but it seems to me that these old church buildings were regarded as "redeemable" by the Reformation.
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