A SACRED SPACE FOR GOD
During the life of Christianity, there has been a development, passing from worshipping in homes, to the grandeur of huge palaces in close resemblance to political buildings.
This development from being a marginal Jewish sect, to the established religion of the Roman Empire, it happened within the first 300 years of existence. However, many Christians believe today that this abysmal change only became real after the Constantinian establishment, but that it is not the case, temples dedicated solely to worship, were being built since middle of the 200’s, like the Church of Dura-Europos in Syria, from around 233 CE.
WHY WE BUILT TEMPLES
But what moved the first Christians to buy or donate this buildings, even in smaller versions, to be used solely for sacramental purposes?. The only answer that we can arrive after a careful study of different possibilities, is their love for God.
There was no money coming in for lucre, neither was the commodity of the people of the house where they met for almost two centuries, because they knew that the giver of the house enjoyed full apostolical recognition and respect among the Elders. (Romans 16:3-5). The sole possibility was love and holiness offered to God, out of love and respect for Him.
Whether gentiles or from Jewish background, all new converts and their children, were educated in the customs of the Hebrews to some degree; enough to understand the Old Testament and the reasons of some of the Christian customs, like Baptism, Lord’s Supper or Anointing of the Sick. Included in this education, was also the Sacred Holiness of the Father, guarded so much in the old days by the Temple worship, the utensils used, and the mode of dressing before approach Him (Leviticus 22:33; Isaiah 6:3; Psalm 15:1; Habakkuk 2:20; 1Peter 1:16; Revelation 4:8).
TODAY we enjoy the use of big, splendid temples dedicated solely to the majesty and holiness of our eternal and unchangeable God, and not only the buildings, but we also adorn them with the best and most exquisite works of art possible. All to make a point, the high degree of Holiness that our God deserves.
But something has been losing space while our temples have been made bigger and better with technology. Our attitude towards that same building, and ultimately, towards God Himself.
Slowly, we have turned these temples dedicated to God alone in holiness, to sing worldly music, to dance, to patronize activities, where people who have no notion of God or godliness enter and disrespect the buildings with their unbelief and behaviour.
Even in the case when we use “parochial” salons, the detriment infringed upon them, ends up affecting the sacred holiness of the surroundings, because we have forgotten the seriousness of the reservation to God alone. We cannot dedicate to God a little corner in a big building and let the rest to be desecrated. Even the ground of the temple is dedicated to the Holy Worship of God, and every action of desecration that takes place within the ground, affects the holiness of God’s temple.
In the times of the Old Testament nobody could bring a pig within the temple walls without considering that it was desecrating the Temple. Even though a proper desecration will only take place within the Holy area. These days however, “Christians” engage in worldly acts within the temple’s area, and even within the temple itself, all around the altar.
It is difficult to avoid seeing young women coming to read the Scripture or give the Eucharist, in miniskirts, shorts or high hills, or boys in singlets, shorts or demonic symbols on their shirts.
DESECRATION OF TEMPLES
In these and many more manners have the modern believers desecrated the Temples dedicated to God, maybe with the idea that “God does not live in buildings” like we humans do. But all this is wrong.
We dedicate a building to God, as a sacred action, where the whole building and area around it, it is officially consecrated for the worship and glory of the Holy Trinity, and nothing else, in conformity with the demands of his perfect and complete Holiness.
As this is an oath before God, then it becomes especially sinful, to dedicate any section of the Temple consecrated, to worldly use, or any other use that it is not closely related to God’s worship. It is also sinful to dedicate a section of the building to dance, sell alcohol, smoking or play worldly games of chance to gain monetary funds for the parish. When we do any of these things, we are truly flirting with the devil for money.
It is also sinful to do not observe the appropriate dress code for worship, where excessive Jewellery, make up and short dresses are beyond the consent of believers. Also, all language or behaviour of the same type.
The authority responsible for the parish, has the authority to stop this, and it needs to do it. Many don’t because they are afraid of losing fellowship but remember that not even Herod the Great could buy his salvation from God by rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. Any money recovered or gained like that, it is evil money, and it cannot be cleaned by just giving it to God.
WE NEED TO CHANGE
It is time still to stop and meditate in what we are doing, and what we are teaching to unbelievers who eventually will follow our example. True Christians who love God, need to revert their actions and treat Temples as what they truly are, TEMPLES CONSECRATED TO YHWH, JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
If we repent of these actions and confess our sins and mend our ways, certainly we will be forgiven. But if we persist in them, then the presence of our God will abandon us until we change for better.
Our songs won’t be heard; our prayers will not be listened; and our preaching will be taken by the wind.
“I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.”