I Don't Always Play Church Games...but when I do...It's in a Building.
Isn't it ironic how most tithing sermons (give and God will make you rich) are given from a pulpit, in a building that has a half million dollar mortgage? If God is blessing the orator's church assembly, in the fashion he is persuading the church He does; why the mortgage? Is it God who blesses or the banker? Well, considering we have no commands to build a building in the entirety of the NT; we must conclude it's the banker who is blessing. We have no commands NOT to build a building either. So, having a building or NOT really isn't the issue, is it?
So what's the issue?
The issue is having a cash-sucking behemoth that doesn't serve one iota of spiritual edification in the ranks of discipleship, edification or performing the REAL work of the Lord for the REAL church of Christ. Why not simply meet in a rented hall, or have the brothers build a super-simple assembly hall; thus freeing up hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of dollars for the ACTUAL work of the Lord? Like; feeding the poor (being a pastor who WANTS a BMW but CAN'T afford one---doesn't count as being poor) taking care of the elderly so they don't have to live out their final days in a nursing home, the orphan and widow, helping and financially enabling young (and old) ministers to preach the gospel, taking care of the disabled who are unable to work, etc etc, etc , ETC.
But unfortunately a mere building has taken precedence over DOING the ACTUAL work of the Lord. So much so, the building is nonchalantly referred to as "the church". But after the mortgage, the pastor's salary and the upkeep of all of the fancy bells and whistles of the building that is affectionately labeled "the church"...there is no money left to help the REAL church.
What does this evidence leave us to conclude?
We must conclude, that it (the building) is a counterfeit-fraudulent-idol that has set in to replace and rob from the actual church.
What are we dealing with here?
We are dealing with absolute disobedience to what is found in the scriptures and blatant idolatry.
Why does "God's Work" so often center in and around a pastor's salary and a mere building? There are MANY more things that qualify as GOD"S WORK, MUCH more than having a fancy building we were NEVER commanded to have in the first place.
SO WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT A BUILDING?
While in this building, we are to conduct ourselves in a certain manner (normally in a holier way than you do at home). There is special, extra reverent conduct expected from you as you are in this large meeting room (much more reverent than your own living room). It is frowned upon anyone to eat or drink a beverage in this meeting room.
NOW HERE'S THE KICKER: This room is considered sanctified, which is why it is called the sanctuary – which means that this room is set apart or holy. This meeting room is viewed as though God Himself were living in it.
Sound familiar? Well, it should; because those last few sentences were a distinctly-detailed description and Biblical explanation of what every Child of God, as a member of THE church IS.
As THE Church you are: "Sanctified" 1 Corinthians 6:11
As THE Church you are set apart to be holy: 1 Peter 1:14-16
As THE Church YOU are a Temple of the Holy Spirit and God lives in you: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
How did a mere building EVER come to the position to usurp the status and spiritual reality of what WE, the REAL church, REALLY are?
It's no wonder people act so different when they "go to church" as opposed to how they live their lives the other days of the week! It's no wonder people act more holy, sanctified , reverent and Godly while in a building...BECAUSE THEY ARE UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT BUILDING IS THE CHURCH (either consciously or subconsciously). And holding this opinion gives the spiritual and psychological impression, that the only time you ARE in the presence of the church and God, is when you enter the building that has robbed the title of "church".
Do we not realize that WE are the temple of God and the Spirit dwells in US (1 Cor 6:19-20)? Do we not realize that we should be holy, reverent and sanctified NOT because of our geographical location, but because of our spiritual identification?
What have we done to the church?
How can this be anything short of an insult to Christ? How can this be anything but a flagrant form of heretical idolatry when a mere building has taken the place, precedence and priority over the ACTUAL church?
We have lost the church. And in so doing we have lost our identities in Christ. To pay for a building we have named "the church", we kick the actual hungry, starving, needy, disabled and elderly CHURCH to the curb, telling them if they tithe, God will bless them and meet all of their needs according to His riches in glory. Are we for real? How could we have drifted so far near the gates of hell and not have noticed it!?
We have given the keys of the kingdom and the church to a pastor and his building fund while the actual kingdom and ACTUAL church gets the "dog leftovers" that fall on the floor. MAY WE REPENT.
THIS was UNHEARD of in the early church. ALL of this emphasis on a building comes directly from the Harlot of Catholicism...the Queen Mother of Idolatry. And we, call ourselves "Protestants"? What part of the Catholic "protest" in Protest-ant, are we protesting against when we ourselves look just like the Harlot we are supposedly protesting against?
Take away Catholicism's buildings in which they call "church" and ta da...Catholicism ceases to be ANYTHING and can no longer even function.
Take away a vast portion of Protestantism's buildings in which they call "church" and ta da...same end result as Catholicism.
Something is wrong here.
We can harp all day long in regard to Catholicism (and I do) but if we look and function JUST like her in so many areas...who are we fooling? Fact of the matter is, the Mother of Harlot's has MANY daughters. Tread lightly, Protestantism...you may be in the process of becoming one. (Revelation 13, 17-18)
The first, second and third century Christians were actually called "Atheists" by opposing religious/political adherents. WHY? Because they had no designated, stationary temple or building....nor did they want one (see the works of Justin Martyr). So you'd be hard pressed to say, that the early church (not to mention Christ Himself) would've had no problem with our modern version of church, that puts over 90% of it's tax deductible income into "things" such as state of the art buildings and luxurious lifestyles for the hirelings that attach their name to them.
I have NO PROBLEM with buildings when they are in their proper place and perspective. It's obviously okay to meet in a building, whether that be a house, a rented hall or a traditional "church" building. How else could we all fellowship together? But what I do have a problem with is idolatry and the church kicking the poor, needy, disabled and elderly, to the streets for the worldly government to take care of...because they've blown all of their money on temples made with the hands of men. Perhaps it's time for another scourging...? Matthew 21:13-
Instead of feeding, housing and clothing the CHURCH...we invest in new offering reciprocals...so we can fleece THE church in style.
Instead of clothing THE church...we withhold funds so we can re-carpet "the church".
He doesn't reside in Temples made with human hands anymore...it's just that most modern church attendees/pastors, pretend like that portion of scripture doesn't exist.
No, it's blatantly certain; He most assuredly doesn't reside in man made temples anymore...but our false God of SELF does. Man LOVES to attach his name to things. Thus, the only logical reason for us to have "places of worship" that require a regular fleecing of the sheep so the BANKER doesn't take back what he has given and so we can "impress" more people in. And to contain our god's of SELF image, pride and pomp while allowing a building to usurp the position of the actual church...Something the early church rejected and distanced themselves from.
"However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands". Acts 7:48
ALL of the people our modern church has kicked to the curb because they "can't afford them"; are the REAL "Houses of God" that He dwells in. This modern church has once again, forsaken the Truth for a counterfeit; by rejecting the true "house of God" in exchange for one that is made with arrogant and self-boasting hands.
You see, a pastor cant inscribe his name on the forehead of a brother or sister in Christ that he's recently sunk money into (getting glory for it)...so, he rejects them and chooses a church sign pointing to a building instead. And we all flock to it (while calling IT the church) like sheep led to a slaughter.
A mere church-goer can't seem to live out his life without the necessity of being a hypocrite; so he invites his family and friends to a building where his most "reverent and sanctified" hypocrisy can be seen in full swing. The other days of the week, he is not so "reverent and sanctified" and therefore doesn't exhibit Godly attributes to those around. Why? Because that's something you do "at church".
The Church isn't that building down the street with a sign out front. The Church is YOU and ME and ALL of those, universally, who are TRULY partakers of His Divine Nature unto a new heart, mind and soul.
Do we not realize that whenever someone (saved or unsaved) comes in contact with us, they are in effect, coming in contact with the church?
Do we not realize we don't have to invite someone "to church" for them to come in contact with THE church? But truth be told, most of us only act like we're Christians when we "go to church". So this would explain why we shun our unsaved friends and family throughout the week. We'd rather just make an appointment with them on Sunday (because that's the time window we've set aside to act like a Christian). Instead of penciling people into your tightly scheduled "sanctified performance"... why not try penciling in a time where you become so utterly stripped of self-deceiving hypocrisy, that Christ will then have an inlet, where He can make you unimpeachably authentic (not just one who pretends like he is on Sundays). Truth be told, the reason a lot of modern church-goers only act like genuine converts on Sundays...is because they're NOT genuine converts. Otherwise they'd act like it the others days of the week.
If we as individuals, who collectively make up the church, don't find a way to pencil in a perpetual time with the Lord, where we allow Him to strip away, layers by layer, the years worth of backslidden self-deceit...I'm afraid He'll be penciling many of us out of His Book. People...wake up. Is this whole "church thing" just a game...something you do on Sunday before the football game...something you do so your spouse won't give you a hard time...or is it something that carries a monumental force unto a living, breathing-tangible reality? Regardless of your answer, the fact some will be blotted out...will one day become SOMEONE'S reality. Are you that SOMEONE?
"'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels". Revelation 3:5
You are either conquering or being conquered...and most "church-folk" are being conquered by their own self-deceiving church games. The Book of Life hangs in the balance between genuine conversion and false conversion. In my experience and observation, some of us who are truly converted, for some reason or another, have those seasons where we CHOOSE to behave like someone who is falsely converted. Tread lightly: a cycle only has four seasons...and some of us are in the dead of winter where our spirituality is concerned. Choosing to have "bouts of falsehood" in our conduct is a game of spiritual roulette. And the seared over conscience and reprobate mind of an apostate is the ONLY outcome if this behavior is persisted in.
It's no wonder most of us flippantly refer to a building as the church. Because heaven knows, we're certainly not actively engaging in the reality of BEING the church.
I've beat you hard enough if you've made it this far.
In conclusion, we must realize that every time someone comes in contact with us...THEY'VE JUST ACCEPTED OUR INVITATION TO CHURCH (whether they know it or you know it or not).
So, how are you representing THE church you belong to?
This is why denominations have NO PLACE in the true church of God.
We must realize that our reverent and sanctified living is something that is expected EVERYDAY and NOT just those days where you attend the "sanctuary" to sit in a chair for 2 hours.
What's more sanctified in your life; your DAILY conduct or a room you sit in, while staring at the back of someone's head for 2 hours?
We must realize that when two or more believers come in contact with one another, whether that be at a picnic bench, pavilion, living room, front porch, back porch or a dinner table...that we are then experiencing the authentic Oneness and fellowship of the Body...HIS CHURCH.
The nerve you so-called leaders in the modern church have, to turn Christ (His body) away when He is hungry, thirsty, naked and in need. Why? Because you need your upper-class salary and "church" mortgage paid. You need to pay for new carpeting, a sound system and for your 3rd vacation this year. Really? Take a pay cut...or maybe downsize from an upper class status to a middle-lower class status. You know, JUST like most of the people in whom you say are in rebellion to God unless they give you 10% of their income (or more).
May the Lord open ALL of our eyes and give us a revelation of what the church IS...and what the church most assuredly is NOT.
Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [a]take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:41-46
DISCLAIMER: The above paragraphs are not meant to be taken as instruction NOT to give to Godly ministries. Do I have a problem with giving to ministries? NO, absolutely not. I serve in ministry and accept donations. I even have a donation section on this page. So, there is no hypocrisy here. I am certainly not against giving or being given to...as the Lord leads. But when "building centered" ministries hold people's salvation in the balance in order to pressure them into financing a church (building) that's been set up as a golden calf...I then, take great issue. When the REAL church is cast aside in place of a counterfeit one...I take GREAT issue.
Any time a minister says "God commands you to give $___blank__ amount or you're in direct disobedience to God and His Word"... in order to finance a building (or anything else for that matter)...HE IS THE ONE WHO IRONICALLY STANDS IN DIRECT DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD"S WORD. This mode of operation in ministry HAS ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE IN HOW THE EARLY CHURCH FUNCTIONED before the time of Constantine.
We SHOULD give...whatever amount, to whomever and whenever, we and the Lord decide...cheerfully...not under compulsion.
This is the front and center of what has been communicated here.