Don’t call your church the house of God

When you call your church the “house of God”, it makes you sound like you are tied to a building and you worship a building and a religious organization rather than the God you proclaim.

When you call your church the “house of God”, you are telling the world that God is so small and worldly and powerless that we can contain Him in a building that was built by men.

Not everybody who enters your building will have real faith and be transformed by God. In fact, there are many church leaders themselves are not fully genuine, lead double lives, and engage in corrupt practices, much like the pharisees and false teachers Jesus warned us about. The world will look at these individuals who have entered the “house of God” and not only be unimpressed with them, but rightfully angry that these individuals do worse things than those who don’t enter the “house of God”. They’ll wonder how it is possible to enter the “house of God” and not be transformed, or how it is possible to enter the “house of God” and come out being so corrupt. This makes God look weak, powerless, and approving of twisted behaviours.

When you call your church the “house of God”, you are telling the world that your building is the only place that God lives, because you call it His house. You are telling the world that if ever they want to find God, they must go inside your building to meet Him. This misleads people.

Saying this also shows people that we have not really understood the Bible, and therefore this building we attend is not properly leading us in God’s truth.

So, what is the “house of God” according to the Bible?

God intended for us to be His habitation, not a building. God is not interested in physical houses, but in the house of our inner being. God doesn’t want to inhabit a religious building on Sunday mornings, He wants to inhabit our inner being and our entire life, to be a powerful life-changing part of it everyday.

Acts 7:48-49 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’

1 Cor 3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

You are God’s temple, not your church building. God’s spirit dwells in you and wants to fill you, not the 4 walls that you congregate in.

1 Pet 2:5 You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

No more bricks. God came and made us alive and we are like living stones that make up His Church in all the world. The house or temple of God is now a spiritual one – it’s not a physical one like it was in the Old Testament.

John 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body.

What a revolutionary thing to say. Religious leaders didn’t understand it then and some still don’t understand it now because it’s so revolutionary, going way beyond human and religious thinking. Jesus shifted the focus from religious buildings as being God’s temple, to human bodies now being the place where God desires to dwell and inhabit.

You don’t have to be anywhere near a church or a gathering of Christians to experience God. You don’t need a building to get a blessing. God’s not interested in church buildings, He’s interested in you right where you are. He wants to meet you in your inner being and dwell with you there.

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One thought on “Don’t call your church the house of God

  1. So much of this post resonates with me. It is misleading to a congregation and to outsiders to call a building, even a chapel, a house of God. I think it’s important to realise, however, that the spiritual “house” God does want to build is a collective of individuals joined together in community.

    There are three “you” words in 1 Corinthians 3:16, and in the Greek they are all plural. But the word for “temple” is singular: “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and God’s Spirit lives in/among you? Paul is writing this to a congregation. (1 Corinthians 6:19 which sounds even more individualistic in most English translations, has 6 plural “you” words, yet “temple” and “body” are singular.)

    My most powerful experiences of God have not occurred in a congregational setting, and yet I know that God wants us in communion and community with fellow Jesus’ followers. I wish it wasn’t so hard to find a Christian community that is healthy and encouraging.

    Liked by 1 person

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