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Why such church buildings?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by LandonL, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. LandonL

    LandonL New Member

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    Since I'm pretty sure we all believe that God doesn't 'dwell' inside a building anymore, what is it that causes us to have such ornate/elaborate/huge buildings that we for all intents and purposes enter maybe twice a week? Where is the scriptural support for this?

    Just curious to see what people think.

    Respectfully,
    --Landon
     
  2. Melanie

    Melanie Active Member
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    Having a wild stab at this LandonL but the building of ornate churches was for the glory and honour to God. There were probably ideas of oneupmanship by different cities etc., but at the beginning it was to honour and glorify the Lord and to provide a fitting venue for the congregation of the faithful for such a purpose.

    Briony
     
  3. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam New Member

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    1)For the glory of God
    2)God is still in the Church ("Where ever two or more are gathered")
    3)Some Churches believe Jesus is also physically present in the Eucharistic elements.

    Your scriptural support will be those of tradition.
     
  4. LaRae

    LaRae Guest

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    God isn't present at your Church?


    LaRae
     
  5. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    God gave specific instructions for the building of the Temple and it was VERY ornate and expensive.

    We have a large church that I would not call ornate, but it needs to be the size it is to contain our members and visitors. We use it everyday (it includes our Christian School).

    There is always some type of ministry going on there...soul winning, descipling, Reformer's Unanimous, Crisis Pregnancy counseling, Pastoral counceling, etc.

    Busy, busy, busy! PTL!

    Blessings,
    ┬žue
     
  6. LandonL

    LandonL New Member

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    I never said God isn't present in my church. I said he doesn't 'dwell' there as he did in the Temple. The curtain was split in two, remember? God is just as present in my house as he is at my church-building.

    And I would argue that God is glorified more by our lives as Christians than by the size of the building we build for him. And I don't have a problem with buildings that are being used, but there are a lot of church buildings that sit empty except for the the office on days that aren't Sunday or Wednesday.

    Respectfully,
    --Landon
     
  7. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam New Member

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    Which is sad. Most Parishes that I know of are open during the day for visitors, some Reformed churches sanctuary's are. Some Catholic churches also have "perpetual adoration" of which you can go anytime, 24/7
     
  8. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    The concept of going to church to visit God (or adore him or whatever euphemism you want) was a hard concept for the early Jewish believers to give up. Buildings and altars were the focus of OT worship.

    THANKFULLY that is not important in the NT. The temple was destroyed, the altar gone. Christ was sacrificed ONCE. He is not on the cross or in a eucharist box. He is . .
    A "church" is a group of believers. WHERE they meet is truly unimportant. Gothic cathedral or in a room at the Holiday Inn, the PEOPLE are the church, not the building!
     
  9. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam New Member

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    I'm not sure that anyone disagrees with you there.
     
  10. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Let's look at that concept a little closer. "A church is a group of believers. Where they meet is truly unimportant."
    I agree with it. And it wasn't until about 250 years after the Apostolic Age that people began to build what we now call "church buildings," that is, buildings exclusively built for the gathering of the believers. Before believers primarily met in people's houses, or out in the open, or in places like the catacombs of Rome during times of persecution--just wherever they could.

    I believe that nowadays the great cathedral-type buildings that are built and are often in use just one or two days of the week are a colossal waste of the Lord's money. A much more simple building can be built and serve the same function (the teaching and preaching of God's Word), and the rest of the money going to missions to reach the lost. The last command that Jesus gave before He left this earth was the Great Commission; it had nothing to do with building cathedrals, or church buildings of any type for that matter. In three missionary journeys it is said that Paul established over one hundred congregations, not buildings. We need to have the right priorities.
    DHK
     
  11. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam New Member

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    Was the oil that anointed the Lord's head a colossal waste of money? Judas thought so.
     
  12. tamborine lady

    tamborine lady Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    I agree with Dr. Bob and DHK. If you're not going to use it for anything except preaching for an hour 2 days a week, then it is a terrific waste of money.

    Tam
     
  13. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    Boy, THAT was a super-pious slam if I've ever seen one!

    Try to equate pouring oil on Jesus with a Cathedral.

    Not just "apples and oranges" but "apples and porpoises"! :eek:

    Cathedrals were developed as the era of neo-platonism mixed with the magic and ritual of the dark ages.

    I visited "St John the Divine" in NYC for a service (ever been there?) and noted that it was incomplete. The folks there said that they realized the money would be better spent in ministry than building.

    Bet it was the first time that they heard a Baptist say "Amen" that loud in a Cathedral before!
     
  14. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam New Member

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    Why the heck do we even bother with building anything to God's glory. I think from this point on we should all meet on grassy hillsides.
     
  15. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    I don't believe those colossal buildings are to God's glory at all. Where I went to school one of the professors started a church. Eventually a church building was built to accomodate the needs of the congregation. It was built as a house where the pastor could live upstairs and the congregation could meet downstairs. It was also built so that when the congregation grew larger an addition could be easily built as an add-on. Now the building is larger. The upstairs is used as a Sunday School, and a separate house has been built for the pastor.

    I have also seen cathedrals that are about to go bankrupt because their membership has dwindled so much that they are no longer able to pay the soaring heating and electricity costs--again a colossal waste of money.

    We are stewards of God's money. It is wasteful to build huge buildings that cost exorbitant prices, and use up God's money that could go to misssions, especially in third world countries where the gospel has never been preached.
    DHK
     
  16. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam New Member

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    That's the problem- the membership has dwindled. If the membership dwindles on the piece of property on the church your professor built they may end up having to sell because of the cost.

    I know of a fairly fundamental church near downtown here in GR that recently went under and had to sell the property. Waste of money? Nah. Just sad that folks became lukewarm and stopped attending or giving.

    I really have a hard time seeing art and anything truly done for the glory of God as a waste of money. If it is to the neglect of the Church, then yes, that is not good stewardship.
     
  17. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    I doubt that will happen, but for the sake of argument suppose it did. The building is so built that it has a lot of flexibility. It could be easily sold as a large house. It is in a rural area on a large acreage. As is the policy with other fundamental Baptist churches that I know of, the proceeds of such would probably be divided up among the supporting missionaries. Thus there would be no wastage of money, and no greedy profits made by any of the members.

    Sure it is sad when it happens. It happens a lot. The devil works overtime in this wicked world. I know of a fundamental church in Delaware that closed down for some of the same kind of reasons. Again the proceeds went to misssions, the result of which was a tremendous boon to the works that they were supporting.

    Unfortunately it is not always so.
    The Baptist church in England that William Carey used to be a member of, is now a mosque.
    There is a Baptist Church in Calgary that closed down many years ago, and was taken over by a Karate club.

    The policy that I know of most Independent Baptist churches is that the proceeds of a dissolving church be dispersed among the supporting missionaries.

    On the otherhand when I see Catholic Cathedrals closing it becomes a completely different story. I heard of one that was turned into a pub. Another was turned into condominiums--stained glass windows and all. I heard on the news that some of the larger Cathedrals in eastern Canada, cannot be maintained any longer because of dwindling congregations. Their old brick structures and poor heating systems have sent heating costs soaring through the roof. Some of them have been taken over by the government and declared as "historical sites." It is a pity when our government has to subsidize the Roman Catholic pagan buildings with all of its idols and adornments. The Catholic Church itself is one of the richest organizations on earth. If it wanted to, it could save those buildings with its own funds and assets.

    Suppose one of those buildings went bankrupt and had to be sold as you suggested at the beginning. Now what is the scenario? All proceeds would go right back into the purse of the RCC. Is this to the glory of God? No, not at all.

    "Where two or three are gathered there am I in the midst of them."

    Paul, writing to the church of Rome, sends his greetings to Aquilla and Priscilla, and the church that is in their home.
    It was a church--in their home--in Rome--but definitely not in the Vatican Square.

    Maybe the art is truly done for man's glory and not God's.
    DHK
     
  18. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    I think that if a congregation wants to build a beautiful building to worship God in, great. If they don't, that's fine, too. There are some truly beautiful church buildings that reflect God's beauty through the talent of the archeticts and building craftsmen (whose talent should not be belittled). Likewise, there are many perfectly respectful small church buidings as well.

    What concerns me is when a Christians have an automatic negative reaction to large and/or ornate buildings. Attitudes like that are more a result of one person's envy rather than another person's boastfulness. Calling someone on boastfulness is often easy. Calling someone on envy is more difficult, because it's so much more common and permissible.
     
  19. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33 New Member

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    P-R-I-D-E- There you have it. The big piles of rocks some denominations call churches arent really for God but to give themselves this super pious mystical feeling of awe. Did you ever notice how people whisper when they are in some of these giant cathedrals? We musnt wake God up now.
     
  20. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    Ps104_33, likewise, as per my previous post, pointing out someone else's "pride" is often the result of envy.

    That's E-N-V-Y. There you have it. The folks in some denominations that complain about another denomination's "pile of rocks" don't do it for GOd, but to assuage their own feelings of jealousy. Did you ever notice how people in some churches whisper about the folks in the giant cathedrals? We musnt wake partake in rumor or gossip now.
     
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