Why does religion need a special building ?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Ted Grant II, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

    Where ever there communities you will usually find religious buildings and structures.
    Synagogue, Cathedral, Imambargah, Church, Mithraeum, Chapel, Temple, Mosque, Gurdwara, Monastery, Shrine and simply House, are some of the names of such buildings.

    Small villages in my country typically have a General Store, Public House, Post office and a Church.

    It is obvious that religious buildings, for many centuries, have been very important.
    If someone has a set of religious beliefs, why do they need a special building?
    They can talk to their gods at home.
    Perhaps people need to meet like-minded folk in order to learn more details.
    Perhaps the beliefs are so fantastic that they need constant reinforcement.

    In the famous "Sermon on the Mount", Jesus says some surprising things...

    "“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven"

    "when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others.
    Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward."

    "when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others.
    Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward"

    " when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.
    And your Father who sees in secret will reward you"

    when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
    Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him"

    He then gives an example of a prayer, which we call "The Lord's Prayer".

    This prayer is repeated in public in direct contradiction of his previous advice!

    In addition, his advice indicates that religious buildings are not the best places for worship.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Property has tangible value. Not much else tangible about what religion sells.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Briefly: because it's consecrated to the worship of a particular deity.
    This idea is a direct descendant of a holly grove or big black rock or some other landmark that was special to a tribe who shared a belief-system - where there is pretty goods chance they sacrificed to that god, pierced, burned, scarified or scourged themselves; carried out some gruesome rituals.
    Later on, they built stone circles and special mounds; later still, grottoes, arches, amphitheaters and temples.

    Really, though, it wasn't a single standard practice; there were many.
    Jesus didn't invent religion - not even the one most Americans understand as religion - all he did was put a couple of new wrinkles in a much older tradition.
    Early Christians met in sect member's homes, and so did settlers in the New World, until their village had the extra resources and manpower to build a community center, which would serve as school, town hall, a place to hold celebrations, court-house, mortuary and church. Eventually, they could make a building for each separate function, with an attached dwelling for its official.
    In civilized societies, which tend to be very competitive, the size and embellishment of their church allows a sect to show off its power and wealth, relative to other sects; a city or state can flash its prosperity and strength of numbers through its public architecture, including churches.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

    A good analysis. It's also a place where dimwits can be fooled into giving money to the cunning preachers.
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Isn't that also true of Kickstarter... ? As well as casinos, racecourses, Wall Street...?
  9. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Do not know Kickstarter but yes to the others.

  10. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Religion does need a special building. Arkham.
  11. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

    I agree about Kickstarter, although some people report successful outcomes.
    If I put money on a horse, I know the odds and I can study the form and I can go look at the horse and I've won in the past.
    Many people have become rich by investing in stock and you can get statistics and graphs to help.
    If you go to a casino and just observe, you will see people win and cash in their chips.

    I have no idea how many gods and religions there are exactly, but my crossword cheat book lists hundreds.
    There are many roads to Heaven with conflicting sign posts and multiple guides that disagree.
    The Bible is one of many Holy books with multiple interpretations.
  12. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    One probably needs to look at the purposes that the buildings are serving.

    In Buddhism, the analogues to churches are typically (but not universally) monastic establishments. They are places where monks live. Laypeople go there to consult the monks and to receive instruction from them.

    In Christianity, Islam and Judaism, churches, mosques and synagogues host congregations, who engage in group religious activities. It might be Torah study, hearing Protestant sermons, attending Catholic mass or Islamic prayers, but it's done in groups, forging a sense of community. So there's a need for physical structures to house the congregations while they are doing those things.

    I think that in all these cases, what matters most is what's being done in a particular place, not what kind of building that it's being done in. Most of these religious functions can be and sometimes are conducted in the open air.
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Worship tends to be both a social, community activity and a learning experience.

    It's not just about talking to God. Worshippers go to be reminded of the lessons - for example - the annual crucifixion and rise of their savior.

    I may not grant the existence of God, but I'm not foolish enough to think that humans aren't social creatures.
  14. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    What about Lincoln Memorial? Like that but for the God.
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Well, there's something in the rules about worshiping graven images or false idols, so no statues.
  16. timojin Valued Senior Member

  17. timojin Valued Senior Member

    I will answer a small portion . In mine old country in our congregation we did not have house of worship, we gadered in someone's house who wanted or had space ( Protestants ) Think about during and after the service ( depend on the size of the congregation ) you would need to store the seats clean the room, provide sanitary facility .
    So if you take that into your mind . You will agree that it is good to have a house specially for a congregation
    to meat.
  18. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Most organizations have their own meeting places.

Share This Page