Let’s talk definitions and who better to talk definitions with than the word master himself… Webster (as in “Webster’s Dictionary”).
1: a building for public and especially Christian worship
2: the clergy or officialdom of a religious body
3: often capitalized: a body or organization of religious believers
1: a charitable institution for the needy, aged, infirm, or young
2: an institution where the sick or injured are given medical or surgical care
3: a repair shop for specified small objects (a clock hospital)
If you look at these two definitions for what they are as they are written, we can clearly see that they are NOT the same. In fact, nowhere in either definition do we even come close to making the connection that these two institutions are the same. So how do we get to rhetorical statements like:
“The church is like a hospital. Sick people come here to get healed.”
SENIOR (to find out who SENIOR is, please read the last blog) told me that (paraphrased) “No one wants to be in a hospital all their life” and with these definitions in mind, that makes a lot of sense. Needy. Aged. Infirmed. Sick. Injured. Where I live we have a non-emergency healthcare facility called “Patient First” (or as I loving call it “Doc-In-A-Box”) and if you’ve ever been there (or any facility like it) then you know the feeling you get when you’re sitting in the waiting room and everybody around you is coughing, sneezing, blowing their noses, running back and forth to the bathroom, moaning, groaning, in pain, so on and so forth. Let’s throw two scenarios into play:
SCENARIO #1: You are sitting in our “waiting room of contagious co-pays” and you’re not even sick/injured. You’re there for a physical (but probably worried that you might get sick).
SCENARIO #2: You are sitting in our “waiting room of contagious co-pays” and you actually ARE sick/injured.
Do you have those two visuals in your head? Good. So tell me this:
After the nurse calls you to the back, the doctor diagnoses you, you get your medicine, and go home to recover with meds, fluids, and rest, AT WHAT POINT AFTER YOU HAVE RECOVERED do you go BACK to your non-emergency healthcare facility just to say “Wzup?” to the doctors and hang out with the nurses for lunch?
I would imagine none of you would… at least until the next time you get sick or injured.
The purpose of a hospital is to repair (to the best of the doctors’ knowledge) your physical body and the ailments thereof. There’s no spiritual healing whatsoever, only physical. In fact, if you never got sick or injured, there would be no need for doctors OR hospitals. Therefore, we can conclude from this that the hospital is definitely NOT a church (although there is a small chapel tucked away in a corner on the first floor of every hopsital)…
Yet we continue to conclude that the church IS a like a hospital???