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Maybe it’s a bigger deal than we think?

I am generally not someone who leads with the idea that simple church is the “most biblical” way to do church. For me, the idea that the New Testament church seemed to primarily gather in homes is helpful when explaining to folks why it’s normal for the church to primarily ebb and flow through homes, but It’s not my main motivation for advocating simple/house/organic church. For me primarily, simple church is just what makes the most sense given what I know about Jesus, how He has worked in my life, and how I have witnessed His Kingdom operate. However, this morning while beginning the book of Acts, I was watching its overview from the folks at the Bible Project.

Acts Chapters 1-12 From The Bible Project


While contemplating all of this, I was struck by just how big of a deal it was that God moved His presence out of the temple and into our body. It’s no small thing that the temple system was done away with at Pentecost and that the New Covenant established the new temple as being us–both individually and collectively!

God, being God, could have done anything he wished to do. He could have kept a temple system or a version of it, but He didn’t.

This is significant.

How significant is it? Greater minds than mine can and have debated this issue, but my question this morning is the significance of our gravitation back toward something that looks an awful lot like a temple system. Have we lived fully into the reality that Jesus came to give us?

Now perhaps you are saying, “Don’t you think it’s a bit much to suggest that most of Christianity is under a temple system?” Perhaps. And certainly, there is more to the old covenant temple system than a holy place. There were also holy men. There were rules. There were regulations. So to be sure, the change God brought was much more than a move away from gathering in sacred buildings.

I generally tend to think that it’s not a big deal that we have so many Christian church buildings. I enjoy using them from time to time. I too was saddened to see Notre Dame go up in flames. But what if this shift from temple to a covenant family is a bigger deal to God than we think? What if our draw back to holy places has contributed to missing out on all that the New Covenant was intended to bring? If having temples wasn’t a big deal, then why go to all the trouble with making the point about making the New Temple a covenant family?

Perhaps the building is a big deal. There simply is no denying that many of our buildings are struggling to stay open. I do not believe this based on Jesus failing to make good on his promise that the “gates of Hell would not prevail” against His church. Rather, could the reason be that God is continuing a shift that began at Pentecost? Perhaps He is helping His people not only to intellectually know that he does not live in physical holy places, but he is moving more and more of his people out to experience Him living and moving among them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

Check out more from the Bible Project here.— it’s one of the best Bible study tools available…and it’s free! 


Twelve Advantages To Simple Church/House Church


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3 thoughts on “Maybe it’s a bigger deal than we think?”

  1. Verrell Marchbanks

    After well over 35 years, we moved to my home town. After numerous, numerous moves and house purchases, I pray it is the final relocation.
    Almost nothing is the same in my home town…except a couple church buildings and the remnant of the old high school gym and many homes my father built with his own two hands. He was a carpenter and a plumber and an electrician…a unique man.
    I struggle with organized religion and denominations. The religion of “my” home town church is a religion I can no longer follow for a variety of reasons…including the addition to the church that was financed on the promise of future funds from a will. A promised bequeath from a person who is still living.
    The local church assumed a debt the religion could have paid.
    I am old now and I know that promises made are often broken. I hope this person’s will is iron clad.
    My childhood church is beautiful and really and truly, one of a kind…exquisite stained glass windows depicting various stories – like the woman at the well.
    Some of the windows depict Jesus with sheep and Jesús standing at the door – knock, knock, knocking.
    My memories permeate the structure…the memories are treasures and honestly, so is the building. I wish it could be declared a historical sight. It is over 100 years old.
    After all these years of relocating and experiencing different cultures and places – I always yearned for home.
    I wanted roots…a tap root to steady the structure of my life.
    That church building was a tap root for me. It was a place I attended and learned and taught and provided music and prayed the deepest prayers for wisdom and guidance and help. Most of the people I worshipped with and learned from are already in Heaven. Sadly – the few who still attend don’t know and respect the history of our forefathers and mothers.
    Are buildings important to religion?
    My answer is yes.
    Those buildings are tap roots for our lives…signifying The One in Whom we believe and trust.
    They matter because they are cornerstones of our community. Anchors of faith.
    I hope future generations will give their children a physical place that will be known as “my church.”

  2. Gavin,
    This resonates because, YES!, “[H]e is moving more and more of his people out”. Of this there is no doubt.

    Like Joshua who received word from God that he would be given everywhere the sole of his foot would tread, we also must realize that the Great Commission calls us to know that same truth. Each of us. All of us. We are to go and take the land.

    The Church walks, the Church talks, the Church hugs, serves, denies itself and sacrifices for others, just like Jesus did. Sometimes we need a structure to stand in or sit in for various reasons. Most of the time, not. Church is not a time and/or a place. It is me…it is we.

    Bless you my brother,


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