A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 25, 2014
“When Christianity came to America, it became a business”

Dr. Richard C. Halverson (1916-1995), chaplain to the U.S. Senate, was credited in 1984 for a speech before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church:

“In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next it moved to Europe where it became a culture, and, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.”

Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994), an English Christian evangelist, has been infrequently credited with a similar line:

“A man came into my office from another nation and he dropped this in my ear, ‘Christianity began in Palestine and it became a religion; it was transferred to Greece and it became a philosophy; it was transferred to Europe-- to England-- it became a cult and it was transferred to America (and) it became big business.’”

Sam Pascoe is frequently credited with a similar quotation:

“Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece an became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise.”


Wikipedia: Richard C. Halverson
The Reverend Richard Christian Halverson, D.D., (1916-December 1, 1995), was born in Pingree, North Dakota. He attended Valley City State Teacher College in Valley City, North Dakota, before earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1939, participating in the Wheaton College Men’s Glee Club. He then earned a Bachelor of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Like his contemporary, Billy Graham, Henrietta Mears of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood had a significant influence on his life.

Halverson was a minister of the former United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America and served from 1958 until 1981 as the Senior Pastor of the Fourth Presbyterian Church, in Bethesda, Maryland. He served as the Chaplain of the United States Senate from February 2, 1981 until December 31, 1994. He was an associate of the National Prayer Breakfast movement starting in 1956. Halverson also was a member of the Board of World Vision, from 1956 to 1983, serving as chairman from 1966 to 1983. He was the President of Concern Ministries, a charitable foundation in Washington, D.C..

Signposts
When the Gospel went to Greece, it became a philosophy.
When it got to Rome, it became an Empire.
When it reached Europe, it became a civilization.
And when it got to America, it became a business.
— Author unknown

Tentmaker—Religion Quotes
In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe , where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.--Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the United States Senate

The GOSPEL TRUTH
Quotes of LEONARD RAVENHILL
A man came into my office from another nation and he dropped this in my ear, “Christianity began in Palestine and it became a religion; it was transferred to Greece and it became a philosophy; it was transferred to Europe-- to England-- it became a cult and it was transferred to America (and) it became big business.”

Google Books
Wind & Fire:
Living Out the Book of Acts

By Bruce Larson
Waco, TX: Word Books
1984
Pg. 50:
In a speech to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, Dr. Richard Halverson, chaplain to the U.S. Senate, was challenging the church to come back to its roots. He said, “In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next it moved to Europe where it became a culture, and, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.”

8 May 1992, The Daily Times (Farmington, NM), “Say ‘Jesus’: The name is most special” by Lee G. Pattison (pastor, Faith Evangelical Free Church), pg. A4, col. 5:
It has been said of the Christian movement that it started out in Palestine with a relationship and moved to Greece where it became a philosophy.

From there it went to Rome where it became an institution. From Rome it migrated to Europe where it became a culture. And from Europe it came to the United States where it became an enterprise. It needs to be moved back to the relationship status.

Leadership Journal
Heart & Soul
Marshall Shelley
July 1, 1996
Want a good, 46-word overview of church history? Here’s one from former U.S. Senate chaplain Richard Halverson:

“The church began as a fellowship of men and women centered on Jesus Christ. It went to Greece and became a philosophy. It went to Rome and became an institution. It went to Europe and became a culture. It came to America and became an enterprise.”

wissel.net
Big Business - WWJD
Posted by Stephan H. Wissel On 10/05/2005
Pointed conclusion in this month Fortune magazine:

“Christianity was born in the Middle East as a religion,
moved to Greece and became a philosophy,
journeyed to Rome and became a legal system,
spread through Europe as a culture
- and when it migrated to America, Christianity became big business.”

Google Books
They Like Jesus But Not the Church:
Insights from Emerging Generations

By Dan Kimball
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
2007
Pg. ?:
Late Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson puts history into perspective with this observation: “But the historians of religion like to say that Christianity was born in the Middle East as a religion, moved to Greece and became a philosophy, journey to Rome and became a legal system, spread through Europe as a culture—and when it migrated to America, Christianity became big business.”

Google Books
Disciples of the Holy Spirit
By Dr. George P. Kimber
Bloomington, IN: CrossBooks
2011
Pg. 127:
It has been observed that “Christianity began in Palestine with a man, moved to Greece and became a philosophy; to Rome and became an institution; to Europe and became a culture and finally to America, where it became a corporation!” (source unknown).

patheos
Christianity: Philosophy or Religion?
December 8, 2012 By Christian Piatt
(...)
COMMENTS
Dan Mann • a year ago
This puts me in mind of a brief history of Christianity as told by Sam Pascoe, an Episcopal Priest.
“Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece an became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise.”
I had a friend who added the addendum, “It came to Nashville and became a chart position.” (you may have to be in the music industry to get that last one)

Until All Have Heard
When Christianity came to America it became a business.
March 11, 2014
There is a truism about Christianity that must not be overlooked.

“In the first century in Palestine, Christianity was a community of believers. Then Christianity moved to Greece and became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome and became an institution. Then it moved to Europe and became a culture. And then it moved to America and became a business.” Priscilla Shirer

Focus in on that last line again: “It moved to America and became a business.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 • Permalink