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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It can be holy not to go to church

Not going to”church” is not necessarily a sin. I disagree with those who will try to make you feel sinful because you dont attend a “church” or arent a member of a congregation. I refuse to let anyone put you down as a sinner just because you dont have a church to go to.

The truth is that there are many cults today that are not true churches of Jesus. These cults force people to donate large amounts of money by using the Old Testament tithing argument which doesnt apply to God’s people today. These cults spiritually abuse their members using authoritarianism to attempt to control every aspect of the lives of their members. They even using fear tactics to get people to obey the leadership group, such as telling people that God will curse them if they don’t do what a leader says.

One of Jesus’ greatest warnings to his people was about being on guard for false teachers. Believers are meant to be testers. The Bereans were commended for examining the Scriptures daily to see if the things told to them were actually true. Jesus told his disciples to be shrewd as serpents because the serpent himself has his own synagogues where desires for money, control, and fame rule over any desires for the true God.

When you’re surrounded by these types of religious institutions that are cults rather than churches, its only normal that a true child of God is not attending them because they are corrupt and are leading people astray. To join them would mean compromising and trading the truth for a lie. When these are the types of institutions called “church” in your area, staying away from them will actually be part of walking by the Spirit. In situations like this, the wisest thing to do is not to go to church, but to remain intimate with God and to seek His leadership for guidance.

What was the name of the church that Jesus attended? What was the name of the church that James, Peter, John or Paul attended? They met in each others homes. For many, the Americanized concept of church, with its large building, a worship band opening the services, and pulpits for preaching, has become an idol. If they don’t have a worship band or a pulpit or a preacher, they can’t have “church”. What are they really trying to have, a true experience with God or the comfort that is found in continuing human tradition? 

Jesus was a carpenter and yet he didn’t build a physical building for his church. Jesus didn’t look for a building to attend on Sunday mornings, he woke up early and went out in the quietness of nature to spend intimate time with the Father. God does not dwell in houses or religions or buildings built with human hands. He dwells with those who desire to dwell with Him, wherever they are, and whenever they seek Him.

In the Bible, the last days are described as days that are abounding in false teachings and false teachers. If you’re surrounded by so-called “churches” that are instead operating as cults full of false, abusive, and fraudulent practices, one of the holiest things you can do is not to go to “church”.

Recent corruption in Quebec churches

Here are two disturbing news articles from 2011 to 2014 of Quebec church leaders engaging in financial corruption. The public needs to be kept updated on stories like this for their protection. Do you think there are stories like this that go undisclosed and never go public? How can we make a difference in these cases?

Former Montreal pastor charged with defrauding parishoners

Read article on Global News

Un pasteur de Montréal-Nord pincé par Revenu Québec

Read article on Canoe

How to detect financial corruption in a church

1. The leader prayed for a miracle for you and it happened. The leader now requests you to make a donation for the miracle you received.

2. You are told that If you do not give financially, you will be under a financial curse where you will not be able to prosper, and things will happen to make you lose your money.

3. You are told to give to help expand the kingdom of God but you do not see the money producing any real tangible results around you for a while now.

4. You give and give but there are never any financial statements made visible to you to show you where your donations are going.

5. The leader(s) seem to be the only ones in the church who are really prospering financially.

6. Your leader asks you to disclose your work salary to him/her.

7. You are told that you must give above 10% on your gross income in order to break the curse of the law, because you are not under the old testament anymore but under grace which is more abundant.

8. You are told to give over 10% of every type of income you get, birthday money, presents, etc

9. The leader receives a salary from church member donations but has others in the church do leadership functions for him/her without financial compensation.

10. You barely have enough money to feed yourself and your family but your leader tells you that you must donate to break the curse. The leader may also tell you to borrow money so that you can donate and break the curse.

Van Gogh painted the stars to find God

“Over a century ago another struggling Christian fled the church to find God in the stars. Vincent van Gogh is remembered for his volatile mental health, severing his ear and later taking his life. But the tortured artist also had a volatile relationship with Christianity, oscillating between devotion and rejection. At one time his fervor was so intense he became a missionary. Later he announced “That God of the clergymen, he is for me as dead as a doornail,” and called himself “no friend of present-day Christianity.” His paintings and letters show us a man wrestling to synthesize his faith with modern thought. But his struggle was primarily with the institutional church, not Christ. In his final years, as his mental illness became more severe, van Gogh reveals a profound devotion to Jesus while remaining disillusioned with the church. His most celebrated painting from this period, Starry Night, captures this sentiment.” – The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani