Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where Did Church Buildings Come From?

In recent years I have continued to run into folks that have believed it was somehow more spiritual to worship God at home alone, or in small groups etc. Each time it seems the persons are coming from a different direction but to the same conclusion that the practice of gathering together in a public building as a congregation of God’s people was somehow inferior to a private, or hidden worship.

They are generally pursuing intimacy and fear losing it.

By way of contrast I have also continued to run into folks that believe that the building was “nothing” and therefore you can do anything with said building that you wish. They have thereby wrapped Jesus’ name around everything from country music shows to strip dancing. Yes… here in Wichita a group recently tried to mingle the worship of God with a strip club!

Locally we are trying to raise enough for a down payment and to find financing to buy our first building… so we have been discussing every aspect of this question for the last year.

Here is some of the rationale often given to dismiss church buildings;
    • Organized religion is corrupt. (No one can deny that some, if not most, of it is!)
    • Constantine founded modern Christianity in the 300’s AD. (Not true…)
    • Church buildings were not used until after Constantine’s edict of Milan in 313AD. (this is a blatant misrepresentation of history!)
    • In the first century the church was composed of “house churches.” (Some were in homes… only some… not all or even most.)
    • If a local church owns a building, then its work ends up centering on the building rather than saving souls etc. (This can and often does happen. This argument is like saying ‘since some marriages fall apart we should do away with marriage.’ Simply put, it is clearly an over-reaction.)