The "House" of God

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by dan e., Nov 28, 2006.

  1. dan e.

    dan e.
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    Does anyone else have a problem with the term "house of God" when it comes to the church buildings. I've seen that in posts recently and I think it seriously misrepresents what the church is. It seems to create a sort of sacred/secular dualism that says "once you step on church property, it is sacred ground". Doesn't that seem way off? The New Testament teaches that our bodies are the temple....not buildings. Often times we expect people to appear a certain way, and act a certain way while at church because..."it is God's house". Seems silly to me. That's putting it nicely.
     
  2. StraightAndNarrow

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    I agree with you. There is a sacred/secular dualism but it's between Christians and the world. That's why separation of church and state is so important.
     
  3. Blammo

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    I recently used the term "house of God" in a post. I put it in quotes because, though I have heard it used many times, I also am not sure about the building being referred to as God's house. I do believe it belongs to God, was provided by God, and houses a congregation of God, but... I would like to see where this discussion ends up... ???????????
     
  4. Alcott

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    The only way church buildings are the "house of God" is in that there is a body of saved people in whom the Spirit dwells which is there. It is not valid, what most of us were probably taught at an early age, that the church [all the facilities and grounds] is "holy," which makes fooling around, being disrespectful, et al, worse than if done anywhere else.

    I don't have my customary references with me at this time, but the OP made mention of what I am certain is a misconception in the NT, that "our bodies are the temple." Body [assembly] is singular in the verses which state it as the temple of the HS; and therefore most uses of the passages to judge drinking, gluttony, smoking, et al, by the individual, do not have the validity claimed.

    Also, since a poster has seen fit to chuck 'separation of church and state' into this... if a body of believers meets on public grounds it is an assembly [kurios; from which is derived church]. Claim separation all you wish, but in this way there is none.
     
  5. Jim1999

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    The term "house of God" originated with the fact that in the early days churches were started in private homes, hence the "house of God". It passed on quite correctly to the newer church buildiings. If they are not the house, the residence, the dwelling place of God, then one ought to try someplace else to worship Him. I don't want to be where He is not present.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    I think most of use "church" as sort of shorthand. I certainly wouldn't blame any of my fellow members for not saying "I'm going to the building which houses my fellow believers when we assemble together." Goin' to church rolls off the tongue more easily.

    But the point about the use of "house of God" is well taken. From now on, if and when I'm tempted to use the term, a little alarm bell will go off in my head.

    My nerve ends also begin to quiver when I hear the auditorium referred to as the "sanctuary." As in "kids, don't run in the sanc----chuary!!!"

    Another--just where is the altar we're supposed to come to when we walk the aisle for whatever reason? And why do we have to come down to it in the first place?
     
  7. Karen

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    Is it so either/or as you seem to suggest?

    Yes, I do try to act a certain way while I am at church that I would not at home. One of a million possible examples: I don't put my feet up on the church furniture. (Now, if someone else does, for whatever reason, I am not going to tell them not to.)
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Oh modernity!!! I am glad I am at this end of life and not just starting out. What happens to-day in the name of Christianity frightens me.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
    #8 Jim1999, Nov 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2006
  9. Brother Bob

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    I thought it started a long time before holding church in someone's house.

    Mark, chapter 11

    "17": And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves

    Me thinks you can go back a lot farther than that!!

    My house = God's house.

    Seems that Jesus called it "God's house when He said My House" and He was God in the flesh don't you thinK?
     
    #9 Brother Bob, Nov 28, 2006
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  10. Logos1560

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    The word or term "church" is also often used to refer to a building, and it was sometimes used that way even before 1611. William Tyndale wrote: “The word church hath divers significations. First it signifieth a place or house” (Answer, p. 11). Thus, that may be why that Tyndale used "churches" at Acts 19:37. The 1535 Coverdale’s Bible has “churches” at Hosea 8:14 where the KJV has “temples.” Coverdale's also has “churches” (Lev. 26:31, Amos 7:9) where the KJV has “sanctuaries.” It is claimed that Archbishop Richard Bancroft wanted the rendering "church" to be used for a material building in the English Bible, which is why he wanted "churches" to be kept or put back in at Acts 19:37. This use of the word "church" to refer to a building is one of the reasons that William Tyndale translated the Greek word ecclesia as "congregation."

    On the other hand, believers are sometimes compared to a building or temple. The temple in the Old Testament was a building. Believers are now said to be "the temple of the Holy Ghost" (1 Cor. 6:19), "God's building" (1 Cor,. 3:9).

    It should not be surprising that "house of God" is also used more than one way.
     
  11. Alcott

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    Yes, you can go back to the age of the temple, in which God did have a unique presence and at which certain sacrificies must be made. In the NT age, the temple is the body of believers. In either age, of course, God's presence is/was never restricted; Jim1999's disbelief in omnipresence notwithstanding.
     
  12. Gershom

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    It doesn't bother me. In fact, I quite like it. :type:

    :jesus:
     
  13. Brother Bob

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    ....................
     
  14. LeBuick

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    I agree with this post, Jesus referenced the place of worship as his so why would we do different. Yes, your body is a temple but when we build a house for God's people to worship, it becomes his house. I'm normally fairly liberal but this time I have to say you guys are out there...

    Is 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

    Notice God said My House.
     
  15. tinytim

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    The house of tinytim houses tinytim's family...

    The House of God houses God's family... the believers.

    That is what I think of when I hear the term...
    A place for God's children to come home to in order to rest from being in the world. My Fathers house.

    Oh, how I love to go home to where I was raised!
    Oh, how I love to go to my Fathers house where I am spiritually raised...

    See the significance.
     
  16. Gershom

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    1TIMOTHY 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

    :jesus:
     
    #16 Gershom, Nov 29, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2006
  17. JustPassingThru

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    Tinytim's post reflects my thoughts, as well.

    Is God present everywhere all the time? Of course! But when the family gathers for meals, comfort, rest, love ... they come home. To God's house. A sanctuary, i.e., a place set apart for a special purpose. I love the picture painted by the term "God's house," properly understood.
     
  18. Brother Bob

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    Well, I can agree with bro Tim also for wherever God's children are we dedicate all we own to Him.
    But, As far as the Bible talking about God's House according to Jesus and God, it is the place where we gather to worship together when the Scripture says "fail not to assembly thyselves together".
    I don't think we need to hunt around to find out what to call God's house when the Bible tells us what to call God's house.

    Again, what saith the word:


    Mark, chapter 11

    "17": And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves

    Me thinks you can go back a lot farther than that!!

    My house = God's house.

    Seems that Jesus called it "God's house when He said My House" and He was God in the flesh don't you thinK?

    I think we all dedicate our homes to the Lord if we dedicate ourselves we give all we have.

    I think the OP was saying it is "silly" to call the church house God's house? I say no, for that is what Jesus called it.
     
    #18 Brother Bob, Nov 29, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2006
  19. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    We have devotions and prayer time at home, but when we 'go to church' in God's House, we act different.

    For one thing, I don't pray in my pajamas in God's House (frequently referred to as my 'church home')...
     
  20. Alcott

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    Most translations render oikw as "household" or "family." Even if you don't like that, it still follows in that verse the identifying clause, "which is the church [assembly] of the living God."
     

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