duck5

procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

empty church or full mosque


that's the question raised by a senator in Hamburg,
Karin von Welck said,
"Bevor ein Gotteshaus abgerissen wird, würde ich es lieber als Moschee an eine islamische Gemeinde abgeben."
full story here
("before a church gets torn down, i'd rather give it as a mosque to an Islamic congregation.")

and you can understand it - i mean, churches turning into mosques? - it's been happening for millenia.
just never in a Christian-state-sanctioned way.
and new churches starting up in Germany are using non-church premises like cinemas or other premises because of the negative connotations tied up with the traditional idea of church and church buildings.

or should i care? i'm not sure.
do you?

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8 Comments:

Blogger byron smith said...

What are the negative connotations tied up with the traditional idea of church and church buildings ("God's houses") in Germany?

10:41 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

irrelevance, exclusivity, God's place (not ours), staffed by state employees only there because of the super scheme

i guess they're there as remembrances of a previous generation that is historically interesting, but that was then. what is now has no relevance to that time - separated by 2 world wars, the holocaust, nietzsche, relativism, scientism, communism, nazism...

10:51 pm  
Blogger byron smith said...

Ah, I'd wondered what was specific to the German situation that meant church buildings had negative connotations there. I've spent most of the last seven years in two different 'old' (for Oz) church buildings and think they have each been quite a significant positive asset in reaching people. Both places have received far more 'off the street' cold contacts of people who just walk in because they know it's a church building and are looking for something than the times I've been in congregations meeting in lecture theatres or less distinct buildings.

9:09 am  
Blogger psychodougie said...

i think the de-christianisation of europe means the churches are more seen as tourist attractions (for other people), open for community events towards the end of december (ie christmas)
they're so passé that walking in is just not something you would do. it's like walking into a historic building in sydney - you just wouldn't think of entering, let alone going out of your way to enter.

10:34 am  
Blogger byron smith said...

it's like walking into a historic building in sydney - you just wouldn't think of entering, let alone going out of your way to enter.
Depends whether you're into history - I certainly would (and have often done so).

1:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Doug found your blog..

I think you should care.. I do.. Wouldn't it be great if people in Europe became Christians and did church in those historic buildings and recognized God's faithfulness in history as he worked through generations? I certainly would be very encouraged to be reminded of my solidarity with those other saints who knew the same Lord as me..and who worshiped in the same place houndreds of years ago...

Jenny

10:08 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

yes it would be great, to be in the churches the reformers visited, where people were converted for centuries and went out to serve God.

but the context v. Welck speaks of these empty churches from is "bevor [sie] abgerissen wird," that is, using it for something, at least reminding us of what was there, may be better than being ripped down and used as a carpark or a supermarket.

12:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoops.. context is indeed the key ...

What do German Christians think of church buildings?

I totally understand new churches meeting in cinemas.. but I also do think there is a huge loss in terms of the enriching benefits that come from an appreciation of the past.

3:44 pm  

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