An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





The first time I sang in the church choir; two hundred people changed their religion.


Fred A. Allen (1894-1957, American radio comic)


He was of the faith chiefly in the sense that the church he currently did not attend was Catholic.


Kingsley Amis (1922-1995, British novelist)


I have no objections to churches so long as they do not interfere with God's work.


Brooks Atkinson (1894-1984, American  journalist, drama critic)


It is indolence... Indolence and love of ease; a want of all laudable ambition, of taste for good company, or of inclination to take the trouble of being agreeable, which make men clergymen. A clergyman has nothing to do but be slovenly and selfish; read the newspaper, watch the weather, and quarrel with his wife. His curate does all the work and the business of his own life is to dine.


Jane Austen (1775-1817, British novelist)


It will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.


Jane Austen (1775-1817, British novelist)


The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


The Church cannot be content to live in its stained-glass house and throw stones through the picture window of modern culture.


Robert Mcafee Brown


The church exists to train its member through the practice of the presence of God to be servants of others, to the end that Christlikeness may become common property.


William Adams Brown


Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.


John Calvin (1509-1564, French protestant reformer)


I believe with all my heart that the Church of Jesus Christ should be a Church of blurred edges.


George Carey (American actor)


People have described me as a "management bishop" but I say to my critics, "Jesus was a management expert too."


George Carey (American actor)


The old cathedrals are good, but the great blue dome that hangs over everything is better.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


A church which has lost its memory is in a sad state of senility.


Henry Chadwick


We praise Him, we bless Him, we adore Him, we glorify Him, and we wonder who is that baritone across the aisle and that pretty woman on our right who smells of apple blossoms. Our bowels stir and our cod itches and we amend our prayers for the spiritual life with the hope that it will not be too spiritual.


John Cheever (1912-1982, American author)


An instinctive taste teaches men to build their churches with spire steeples which point as with a silent finger to the sky and stars.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834, British poet, critic, philosopher)


The parson knows enough who knows a Duke.


William Cowper (1731-1800, British poet)


A woman's asking for equality in the church would be comparable to a black person's demanding equality in the Ku Klux Klan.


Mary Daly (1928-, American feminist and theological writer)


And of all plagues with which mankind are cursed, ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst.


Daniel Defoe (1661-1731, British author)


His creed no parson ever knew, for this was still his "simple plan," to have with clergymen to do as little as a Christian can.


Sir Francis Doyle


There is not in the universe a more ridiculous, nor a more contemptible animal, than a proud clergyman.


Henry Fielding (1707-1754, British novelist, dramatist)


The local church is the outcrop of the church universal.


Peter T. Forsyth


Many come to bring their clothes to church rather than themselves.


Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)


Church is the only place where someone speaks to me and I do not have to answer back.


Charles De Gaulle (1890-1970, French president during World War II)


Churchgoers are like coals in a fire. When they cling together, they keep the flame aglow; when they separate, they die out.


Billy Graham (1918-, American evangelist)


Those who marry God can become domesticated too -- it's just as hum-drum a marriage as all the others. The word "Love" means a formal touch of the lips as in the ceremony of the Mass, and "Ave Maria " like "dearest" is a phrase to open a letter. This marriage like the world's marriages was held together by habits and tastes shared in common between God and themselves -- it was God's taste to be worshipped and their taste to worship, but only at stated hours like a suburban embrace on a Saturday night.


Graham Greene (1904-1991, British novelist)


It's about time we quit playing church in these services that start at eleven o clock sharp and end at twelve o clock dull.


Vance Havner


Many people are in a rut and a rut is nothing but a grave -- with both ends kicked out.


Vance Havner


The church is so subnormal that if it ever got back to the New Testament, normal it would seem to people to be abnormal.


Vance Havner


What makes a church great in the eyes of God? Participation, proclamation, preservation, and propagation. Every church ought to exhibit all four.


O. S. Hawkins


A full-dressed ecclesiastic is a sort of go-cart of divinity; an ethical automaton. A clerical prig is, in general, a very dangerous as well as contemptible character. The utmost that those who thus habitually confound their opinions and sentiments with the outside coverings of their bodies can aspire to, is a negative and neutral character, like wax-work figures, where the dress is done as much to the life as the man, and where both are respectable pieces of pasteboard, or harmless compositions of fleecy hosiery.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


I'm a priest, not a priestess. "Priestess" implies mumbo jumbo and all sorts of pagan goings-on. Those who oppose us would love to call us priestesses. They can call us all the names in the world -- it's better than being invisible.


Carter Heyward


But a priest's life is not supposed to be well-rounded; it is supposed to be one-pointed -- a compass, not a weathercock.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


But a priest's life is not supposed to be well-rounded; it is supposed to be one-pointed -- a compass, not a weathercock.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


The Church has always been willing to swap off treasures in heaven for cash down.


Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899, American orator, lawyer)


The separation of church and state is a source of strength, but the conscience of our nation does not call for separation between men of state and faith in the Supreme Being.


Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973, American President (36th))


This merriment of parsons is mighty offensive.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being.


James Joyce (1882-1941, Irish author)


Yes, I see the Church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968, American Civil Rights leader, Nobel Prize winner, 1964)


Yes, I see the Church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968, American Civil Rights leader, Nobel Prize winner, 1964)


Where God builds a church the devil builds a chapel.


Martin Luther (1483-1546, German leader of the protestant reformation)


A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there.


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.


Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899, American evangelist)


The difference between listening to a radio sermon and going to almost like the difference between calling your girl on the phone and spending an evening with her.


Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899, American evangelist)


The Christian church is a society of sinners. It is the only society in the world, membership in which is based upon the single qualification that the candidate shall be unworthy of membership.


Charles C. Morrison


The greatest hindrances to the evangelization of the world are those within the church.


John R. Mott


The priesthood is a marriage. People often start by falling in love, and they go on for years without realizing that love must change into some other love which is so unlike it that it can hardly be recognized as love at all.


Iris Murdoch (1919-, British novelist, philosopher)


A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.


L. L. Nash


Many are called but few are chosen. There are sayings of Christ which suggest that the Church he came to establish will always be a minority affair.


Edward Norman


Here, the churches seemed to shrink away into eroding corners. They seem to have ceased to be essential parts of American life. They no longer give life. It is the huge buildings of commerce and trade which now align the people to attention. These in their massive manner of steel and stone say, Come unto me all ye who labor, and we will give you work.


Sean O'Casey (1884-1964, Irish dramatist)


If church prelates, past or present, had even an inkling of physiology they'd realize that what they term this inner ugliness creates and nourishes the hearing ear, the seeing eye, the active mind, and energetic body of man and woman, in the same way that dirt and dung at the roots give the plant its delicate leaves and the full-blown rose.


Sean O'Casey (1884-1964, Irish dramatist)


I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.


Thomas Paine (1737-1809, Anglo-American political theorist, writer)


My own mind is my own church.


Thomas Paine (1737-1809, Anglo-American political theorist, writer)


It would be far better to be of no church than to be bitter of any.


William Penn (1644-1718, British religious leader, founder of Pennsylvania)


Too hot to go to church? What about Hell?


Ohio, Poster in Dayton


Mass ought to be in Latin, unless you could do it in Greek or Chinese. In fact, any abracadabra that no bloody member of the public or half-educated ape of a clargimint could think he understood.


Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American poet, critic)


The act of bell ringing is symbolic of all proselytizing religions. It implies the pointless interference with the quiet of other people.


Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American poet, critic)


He who is near the Church is often far from God.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


Be neither intimate nor distant with the clergy.


Irish Proverb (Sayings of Irish origin)


In a small house God has His corner; in a big house, He has to stand in the hall.


Swedish Proverb (Sayings of Swedish origin)


Standards of conduct appropriate to civil society or the workings of a democracy cannot be purely and simply applied to the Church.


Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger


Nearly all the evils in the Church have arisen from bishops desiring power more than light. They want authority, not outlook.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


The root of almost every schism and heresy from which the Christian Church has suffered, has been because of the effort of men to earn, rather than receive their salvation; and the reason preaching is so commonly ineffective is, that it often calls on people to work for God rather than letting God work through them.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


A glorious Church is like a magnificent feast; there is all the variety that may be, but every one chooses out a dish or two that he likes, and lets the rest alone: how glorious soever the Church is, every one chooses out of it his own religion, by which he governs himself, and lets the rest alone.


John Selden (1584-1654, British jurist, statesman)


We sing in a church, why can we not dance there?


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


What is wrong with priests and popes is that instead of being apostles and saints, they are nothing but empirics who say "I know" instead of "I am learning," and pray for credulity and inertia as wise men pray for skepticism and activity.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


The problem is not that the churches are filled with empty pews, but that the pews are filled with empty people.


Charlie Shedd


How can a bishop marry? How can he flirt? The most he can say is "I will see you in the vestry after service."


Sydney Smith (1771-1845, British writer, clergyman)


I have, alas, only one illusion left, and that is the Archbishop of Canterbury.


Sydney Smith (1771-1845, British writer, clergyman)


The priesthood in many ways is the ultimate closet in Western civilization, where gay people particularly have hidden for the past two thousand years.


John Spong (1931-, American clergyman)


I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.


Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895, Scottish essayist, poet, novelist)


I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


A little, round, fat, oily man of God.


James Thomson (1700-1748, Scottish poet)


I think a bishop who doesn't give offence to anyone is probably not a good bishop.


James Thomson (1700-1748, Scottish poet)


One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organizations do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.


A. W. Tozer (1897-1963, American preacher)


A group touring Westminster Abbey in London heard the guide list the famous people buried within its walls. During a momentary silence a little old lady's voice blurted out loud and clear, "Anybody been saved here lately?"


Author Unknown


Sign in lot: Church parking only. We will not forgive those who trespass against us.


Author Unknown


The itch of disputing is the scab of the churches.


Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639, British diplomat, traveler, scholar, and poet)


Though the church has many critics, it has no rivals.


Author Unknown


The Pope is an idol whose hands are tied and whose feet are kissed.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


She say, Celie, tell the truth, have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share.


Alice Walker (1944-, American author, critic)


In the Church, considered as a social organism, the mysteries inevitably degenerate into beliefs.


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.


John Wesley (1703-1791, British preacher, founder of Methodism)


I don't go to church; kneeling bags my nylons.


Billy Wilder (1906-2002, American film director)


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