Church Buildings (rant)
I have come to t he conclusion that the main reason God has given us 5 toes on our left foot and 1 big toe on our right foot is to remind us of the 6 good reasons why church buildings should never exist.
Church buildings identify the Church with a place, which leads to the ludicrous notion of “going to church”. Church buildings present a completely false representation of the living, dynamic entity of the Church, and reduce it to little more than a club that meets once a week in their clubhouse.
Church buildings nurture dualism. By congregating in a distinct physical location, the “going to church” phenomena creates an artificial discontinuity with the “rest of life”. If you don’t believe me, go and sit in a church building on Sunday and before long you will hear someone up the front say “leave the trouble of the week at the door, and come into God’s presence”. Rubbish. God is everywhere, all the time.
When Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman beside a well, she told him that her ancestors worshipped God here on this mountain, but that the Jews say we should worship in Jerusalem. Jesus said that the time was coming when we would worship God in neither place, but in spirit and in truth. Church buildings go right against this by linking worship back to a place. Again, if you don’t believe me, then head off to any church you want and you will here “Welcome friends … welcome into God’s house … Let’s worship Him here together …”. Just the opposite of what Jesus said!
Church buildings must be owned by someone, and that someone must be a legal entity. So now the “church” is just become another organisation just like any other organisation, and runs like any other organisation. Managers. Accountants. Leases. Repairs. Insurance. Maintenence. This building needs money to keep it going! Who’s going to pay? So now the church buildings have reduced the Church to an organisation that needs money in order to run. That just ain’t right. The church that Jesus spoke about was so different that even ‘the gates of hell would not prevail against it’. Now that sounds more like it!
Church buildings encourage a meeting model that works as far as I can see just like a kindergarden. Welcome everyone, all sit down on the mat, sit still, follow what the person up front says, lets sing a few songs “clap along now if you want to”, then lets listen to a talk from someone who knows more than us and is here to teach us. The church building with its rows of chairs and stage and microphones up the front just lends it itself so wonderfully well to treating people like children you would almost think it was designed that way!
Church buildings cause an artificial segregation of the Church. By splitting the Church into little units that go to buildings, those buildings then have signs out the front. Anglican. Catholic. Closed Brethren. Open Brethren. Exclusive Brethren. All these divisions are not real! All of these people in reality are bound together within the Kingdom of God in way that we will never fully understand. When we stupidly chop such a beautiful creature into pieces, we simply kill it.