Thursday, July 14, 2016

JULY 14 "PIVOTAL MOMENT IN CHURCH HISTORY"

 Mark this day in your bible, this is the establishment of “The Church” as we know it today. David has the best of intentions, but the best of intentions from the best of people does not always produce the best of results. We can begin to view certain people, especially of “the clergy” as people that can do no wrong and say no wrong. Nathan himself is caught up in this and is so quick to tell David, “do whatever you have in mind, for God is with you”, but Nathan is completely wrong.  The Temple is built, this we know, by David’s son and we are still recovering from the effects of this decision to put God in a building. In the middle ages, also known as the Dark Ages, the structure, the edifice, the building became man’s sole connection with God. It was a cold existence; man’s relationship with God became the structure, stained glass windows, cathedral ceilings, sacraments, and ceremony. All this was introduced to substitute the inner relationship man was intended to have with is God. Instead of God dwelling in our hearts, man tried to replicate a holy experience by walking into a building that would have a splendor and holiness of it’s own. It was made that when you walked into one of these Cathedrals and/or Temples, you felt like you were in a Holy Place, in God’s presence. The Saints on the walls, Angels painted in the glass, Holy music, stained glass windows set up so that when the sun shined in it mimicked God’s glory coming in and people allowed this to replace an inner relationship. The end result was when you left this glorious structure, temple or Cathedral was you left your relationship (which was no relationship) with God in that building.  Two thousand years later we are still struggling with this, trying to teach people that you don’t leave God and your relationship with him, in the building after Sunday Morning’s service, you take  God with you everywhere you go in everything you do. We still struggle to teach people, God can and does want to dwell in your heart, not in the building. As much as we preach it, as much as we teach it, it still remains a struggle to ingrain this in God’s people; God is not in the structure. And by and large, Christians know this in Theology, but they don’t live it. Christians still act/behave much more Christ Like in The Church than they do at work and at home with their families. And why would that be; unless, there’s still some kind of mental block there, that puts God in a building more so than at their home. Even in the days of The Great Temple of Solomon, God speaks through Jeremiah saying, “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.” Building a Temple, a structure for God’s presence was not the best idea in the long run, but it served a purpose for the time. The Christians in the New Testament decided they could spin off of this idea of a building, a place to meet, to congregate as long as they taught the people that it was they that made up the Church, not the building. The idea of a building, a place to Congregate is still the best idea, with Pastors and Teachers in that building and a congregation in that building, waiting each Sunday to serve and minister to one another, but we must always fight and contend, to keep to the forefront of our minds and hearts, that God is as much with us Monday night, in the privacy of our home, as He was with us on Sunday, in our glorious Church building. We become the greatest of hypocrites and the biggest religious devils when we embrace this mindset that God’s presence and dwelling remains in the Temple, the building, the structure, the Cathedral. This mindset has done more damage to the cause of Christianity than anything else I can think of. I grew up in this environment. We were the worse sinners on our street, but when we walked into that beautiful Cathedral every Sunday, we became the most Pious and Holy people you knew. However once we left that building we reverted to being profane and immoral because God remained in the Cold Cathedral and never traveled outside of it. If you had asked us if in our Theology we believed that, we would have said “No, God is everywhere” but it was hard to live otherwise, it was hard to believe as beautiful and holy as that Cathedral was, that God’s presence was not there and as ugly and sinful as our home was, that God obviously was not there. Today, we read a pivotal, monumental turning point in the history of The Church as we know it and the question to ask is, “have we ever truly recovered?”