DOES GOD NEED A HOUSE?
Architecture has found religion a fertile ground for its art and skills. Our Cathedrals, Temples and places of worship are glorious monuments to God and to Christ. Enormous costs and sacrifices have given us these magnificent religious architectures for archeological purposes. It shall prove to posterity that our ancestors were religious. How did it all begin? How can one built a House for God?
King David aspired to build a house for God and was immediately corrected with the fact that God could not live in a house built by human hands but they could built a place in His Name (II Sam.7: 13), where they would keep the Ark of the Covenant with the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s budding staff and a jar of manna (Ex.25: 21; Nu.17: 8; Ex.16: 33). God was very discrete about being named (Ex.3: 13-14; 20: 7). Isaiah had this vision, “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being? Declares the Lord” (66: 1-2). Jesus declared that God is spirit and therefore cannot be attached to a temple or a mountain (Jn.4: 21-24). It is within that Spirit that we live, move and have our being (Ac.17: 28).
What kind of a structure did Jesus have in mind when He promised Peter that He would build His Church and hell would not stop it (Mt.16: 17-19)? The Greek word is “ekklesian” and it means an assembly, a gathering or a meeting. People would gather or meet around leaders like Peter to learn what Jesus had come to do. All the disciples received such instruction (Jn.20: 221-23; Mt.28: 19-20). It would be a kingdom of souls linked by faith in Jesus the Christ and it shall transcend structures and borders and even time. It simply was not intended to be of this world (Jn.18: 36; Lk.17: 20-21).
What has happened? Christians have allowed the enemies of Christ to drive His followers into Cathedrals, Temples, Churches and meeting places so that they cannot spread the message of Christ in public. It was clever and ingenious to separate the Church from the State. It is tragic that far too many Christians have resigned themselves to dual roles and lifestyles in this world. Our situation is not unique. The Jewish leaders tried to separate Christians from their system and Peter posed this question, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God” (Ac.4: 19)? Let us ponder Jesus’ words, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it” (Mt.16: 25). It is not likely that we shall lose anything in our safe harbors.