The helpfulness of 'church'? | General Discussion | Forum
I have been considering the utility of naming this organisation as a church, and issues surrounding this.
Now as a disclaimer, i personally have no big issue with it, and think i have a good understanding of what the organisation is and is trying to convey. I'm not trying to create an arguement, but feel exploration of this and debate is healthy and valid.
I have found though that a large number of people who essentially share the same views as the broad COBM are strongly deterred by the use of the word church.
'Church' implies a Christian influence or at least parallel to the Christian view of religion and community. Given that Christian has been, and continues to be the 'default religion' in the West and is associated with patriarchy and dogma; many non-conformists, which body modifiers often are, have an aversion to this.
Further there may be an assumption of hierarchy or being 'done to'. I wonder if the use of 'Ministers' rather than 'Committe members' (for example) may also convey an impression of hierarchy, power or status. Are ministers somehow more in tune with the spiritual aspects of modification? Are they more knowledgable or 'better' at this?
In terms of my own interest, i strongly believe the COBM has an important message to spread, and can be a valuable resource for our community to challenge discrimination and inform. However i find it sad when so many who share the same views on modification and spirituality hold the COBM in a negative light due to these associations, even after discussion, due to the name and titles.
So does it help or hinder?
Any input appreciated!
March 2, 2011
While I am unsure as to the motives of the naming of the Church originally, I do feel that this is, indeed a CHURCH.
The new Webster’s international dictionary, 1909 edition, gives this definition of the word:
“Church (church), n. [ME. chirche, fr. AS. circe, fr. Gr. kyriakon the Lord's house, fr. kyriakos concerning a master or lord, fr. kyrios master, lord, fr. kyros power, authority; akin to Skr. gram mighty , bold Olr. caur, cur, hero. Cf. KIRK.] 1. A building set apart for public worship, esp… 2. A place of worship of any religion, as, formerly, a Jewish or pagan temple or a mosque. Acts six. 37.”
February 3, 2008
Great topic, it's something I've put plenty of thought into over the years. I've run into several people that agreed with the mission and beliefs of the CoBM yet didn't want to become a member because the word "Church" is in the title. I think their feelings have less to do with the word and more to do with the association it has to Christianity. There are people who have had bad experiences with Christianity and, in turn, spurn anything to do with church or organized religion. In my opinion, it's their loss. Christianity and Church are not synonymous. The CoBM is a Church, an organized, religious group of people.
As far as the term "Minister" goes, a minister is someone who leads services, provides spiritual guidance, and performs other functions for the Church. CoBM ministers are better off or more important than members of the CoBM. Are the ministers more knowledgeable or more in tune with the spiritual aspects of body modification? Well, compared to some people, yes. Just take a look at their minister applications and you'll see their education and experience is fairly extensive. However, this does not mean a minister should be seen as supreme, untouchable, or as being on a pedestal. They are simply in a position to lend their experience and guide people that may have questions or need help.
It is sad that some people have a negative knee-jerk reaction to the words "Church" and "minister", but I don't think that's any reason to change those words. Education and setting a good example are the best ways to positively affect people's attitudes and thoughts.
Church of Body Modification, President
February 24, 2011
I personally am not deterred by the words "Church" or "Minister", but I can see how some people might be. I the search for my own faith I have studied different religions, and while they are not for me, I have nothing to fear from them. As far as hierarchy in the organization I feel that Ministers should be held to a certain standard, but not looked at as superior… they are volunteering their time to help all of us, we are all important. ^_^
March 2, 2011
All good answers folks!
Whilst change to appease those who may have a knee-jerk reaction to using terms appropriated from Christianity, albeit ones that may now also refer to other religious groups or places, may not be warranted; how comfortable are people that by using terms with Christian overtones we may convey an image contrary to our beliefs andgoals?
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