Devil's advocate

Posted by ESC on November 02, 2003

In Reply to: Welcome To The Fold posted by R. Berg on November 01, 2003

: : I just wanted to know where the title of Filter's new album "Welcome To The Fold" comes from. I asked my former co-workers and boss, and it was my former boss who said that a church (or synagogue) congregation can be refered to as a "fold," so maybe it means "welcome to the congregation." can anyone confirm this for me, or let me know where it comes from? also, on another point, if anyone ever wondered where the phrase "devil's advocate" comes from, it's from the Roman Catholic Church's rite of declaring someone a saint. some one has to show the court that the person in question deserves to be declared a saint. and the person who's trying to prove that that person shouldn't, is said to be "the devil's advocate."

: If you wonder why a congregation is called a fold, look to all those Biblical metaphors about sheep and shepherds.

: From the American Heritage Dictionary, "fold" (noun):

: 1. A fenced enclosure for domestic animals, especially sheep. 2. The sheep enclosed in such a pen. 3. A flock of sheep. 4. A church and its members. 5. Any group of people bound together by common beliefs and aims, or by mutual loyalty.

And Jesus was the "good shepherd."

DEVIL'S ADVOCATE - "originated in Roman Catholicism. A candidate for sainthood would be represented before the papal court by two spokesmen, the 'advocatus diaboli' (devil's advocate), who would present every conceivable argument against canonization or beatification, and the 'advocatus dei,' who would make as strong a case as possible in favor of canonization. Nowadays the term is widely used to describe any person who is usually found on the wrong or losing side in any controversy, especially one who takes such positions out of sheer cantankerousness." From the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).