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Is the church within empty?

From the December 1981 issue of The Christian Science Journal

"What do you mean — the church within? Isn't church outside me? I go to church, I love the church, but I can do very little to affect the way the church is. I cannot determine the church's development because it is not in my control. Too bad the church out there is empty."

I struggled with these thoughts a while back. Wanting a satisfying answer, I began my search by asking: Do I have an empty concept of Church, the eternal idea of God? Is my concept of Church as complete as it should be?

One definition of "empty" is "lacking purpose or substance." In this sense, an empty concept of Church is one that does not include a clear comprehension of the purpose or substance of Church. Without a spiritual understanding of Church, the divine idea of God, our church organization may be seen only as a Sunday social gathering, a building that needs painting, or a place to share personal troubles. If one has ever questioned the reason for attending church or wondered why a service was not satisfying, perhaps an empty concept of Church is what actually needs to be filled.

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