The Church Is the
Karen Pansler Lam, J.D.
I was dumbfounded!
I was grieved!
A few months ago, many professing Christians argued on Facebook that the church is not the Lord’s House!
Since when has the church stopped being the Lord’s House?
I guess when modern Christians started declaring Christianity is not a religion, then they started declaring the church does not belong to the Lord God.
So, if the church is not a religious institution (because Christianity is not a religion), then why is it tax exempt?
And why do ministers demand we pay tithes? They bully us by threatening that if we don’t pay tithes, offerings, special offerings, and other church taxes, then we are robbing God. But at the same time, they declare the church is not God’s House!
The modern church is full of the devil’s disciples - theologians and other heretics. And one of their devilish heresies is the church is not God’s House, or the Lord’s House.
Satan Was the First Theologian
It is the mission of the devil’s disciples to create doubt and confusion about Scripture. Like Satan, they quote Scripture and pervert its true meaning to justify irreverence and other rebellion against God and His Word.
For example, when I argued on Facebook that we must show reverence in God’s House by wearing proper clothes (in the good old days, we called it our Sunday best), here is one rebellious response…
When my children come to visit me, I want them to be comfortable. God the Father wants us to be comfortable when we come to church.
What a blasphemous response!
This man is not God – and his children are not coming to worship him!
And the same man wrote…
There is no such thing as God’s house. He dwells in a house not built with stones. 1 Peter 2:5.
Doesn’t this sound like Satan’s diabolical dialogue with Eve in the Garden of Eden? Satan was the first theologian because his mission was to create doubt and confusion about God’s Word.
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Genesis 3:1
This man, like Satan, is trying to create doubt and confusion about God’s Word. And that is the mission of the devil’s disciples – theologians and other false Christians; they create doubt and confusion by purposely misapplying Scripture, like when Satan quoted Scripture to tempt Jesus in the desert (Luke 4:9-12).
The Bible warns us not to argue with theologians and other heretics. So, I
No, I was not going to waste my time dialoging with the devil’s disciples. Of course, getting those of the Old Church Order to engage in dialogue is one of the devil’s strategies to bully us into submission to the New Church Order. They try to engage us in dialogue, dialectics, theology, and other devilish tactics to beat us down emotionally, intellectually, mentally, and spiritually. They try to make us feel ignorant and alienated. Their devilish mission is to get us to submit to the New Church Order, or to drive us out of the church.
The Lord’s House
So, what is the definition of “church”?
The first definition of church in Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language is…
1. A house consecrated to the worship of God, among Christians; the Lord’s house. This seems to be the original meaning of the word.
was probably derived from the Greek adjective kyriakon
(the Lord’s), and referred originally to the building in which Christians
met for worship (kyriakon doma,
the house of the Lord).
“the Lord’s House”; ekklesia,
“assembly of citizens called out”).
Irrefutably, the church is the Lord’s House – a house consecrated to the worship of God.
The Glory of the Lord
The New Testament does not record the construction of a church building. Possibly, the Lord intended for Christians to understand that the true Church is not a church building, but a body of true believers. But, most likely, as the number of Christians increased, they wanted to consecrate a building to the worship of God. Therefore, buildings were specifically set aside for divine worship.
Paul states a difference between God’s House and Christians’ houses when he rebukes the Corinthians for profaning the Lord’s supper and corrupting it into a feast for the rich. Their conduct showed contempt of God’s House, or contempt of the church. If they wanted to feast, let them do it in their own houses.
What? have ye not houses to
eat and to drink in?
Paul makes clear the church must not be profaned by irreverence and rudeness.
Specifically, a church is a building permanently and exclusively set aside by solemn consecration for divine worship: it has a sacred purpose. The purpose of the church is to give glory to God, and to edify the believers who gather there to worship. There ought to be nothing in the church that is unworthy of the House of prayer and the majesty of God.
Undeniably, churches play an important role in the community. They are the cornerstone of the community, and must be a visible reminder of the true cornerstone of the Church – Jesus Christ. But Christians fail to understand the importance church buildings play in the daily life of the community. Churches are daily reminders of God and the call to daily Christian living – holiness. Therefore, churches should be given eminent places in the community. The Tabernacle was given an eminent place in the Israelite’s camp – in the center. And Solomon gave the Temple an eminent place in Jerusalem – on Mount Moriah. Therefore, churches must be given eminent places in the community.
Specifically, the presence of churches in the community proclaim God’s supreme authority over the affairs of man. Therefore, the true church looks like a church. It is a visible daily reminder that the Supreme Lawgiver is God Almighty. And it is a place of worship. By its very structure, its dignity and its beauty, it proclaims its sanctity and sacred purpose. It does not look like a civic center, theater, business or other secular building.
Churches should be architectural gems of the community. The true church considers the architecture of the church building; it connotes a religious structure. For example, the church steeple is a focal point of some churches, a witness to the community and an architectural design intended to lift our eyes upward - heavenward. And looking heavenward leads us to think about God and Truth. This daily visible reminder of our pilgrimage heavenward should inspire us to holy thoughts and holy acts – holiness. And the church should remind us of our daily duty of prayer and praise.
Inside the church, the sanctuary should encourage reverence and holiness with its beauty and dignity. The worshipper should feel that he is in the presence of the Lord. Christ is the King of the Church and deserves a place of worship worthy of the King of kings. Besides, God is the God of beauty, and has clothed nature with glory and beauty. Indeed, God desires the beautification of His sanctuary. For instance, God gave Moses specific instructions for the beautification of the Tabernacle. And Solomon’s temple was known for its beauty. Any church that fails to consider the beauty of the interior and exterior shows disrespect for the Lord’s House.
Reverend S. Conway explains:
It is a public dishonouring of God if men
are content that the sanctuaries in which they worship should be mean and
ill-appointed, as so many of them are, whilst in their own houses no costly
expense is spared and no adornment withheld (see Hag.i.4). On the other
hand, the magnificent churches, minsters, abbeys, which still remain in this
and other lands, have throughout all the long centuries since they were
built borne silent but eloquent testimony to the reverence, love, and
devotion towards God which dwelt in the hearts of their builders, and which
it was their profound conviction ought to dwell in the hearts of all.
Meanness and miserable selfishness often skulk behind the plea of
spirituality of worship, and that the heart is all that God desires.
Magnificent churches throughout the centuries proclaimed the reverence, love, and devotion toward God which dwelt in the hearts of their builders. And church buildings today should not only proclaim the reverence, love and devotion toward God of their builders, but should inspire those who look upon them with reverence, love and devotion toward God.
Certainly, when we see a magnificent stone cathedral or a simple, white New England church with a steeple, our thoughts turn toward God. Its dignity and beauty proclaim its sanctity and sacred purpose.
A stone church reminds us of that spiritual Rock: and that Rock is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).
And a modest white church of simple beauty is symbolic of the purity of a bride reminding us that the Church is the pure Bride of Christ, without spot or wrinkle.
That he might present it to
himself a glorious church,
So, if the Church is to be holy and without blemish, then churches must be holy and without blemish. In other words, they must not be spotted and stained with the lust of the world. Just as Christians must be sanctified before they will be glorified hereafter, the church must be sanctified before it can be a true church. And the church that looks like a nightclub, theater, or other worldly place is unsanctified. If you cannot tell a church by its architecture, then it is not a true church. It is an unsanctified church that is a whoring after the world.
Since the 1960s, churches are often built to look like commercial buildings: theaters, civic centers, and so forth. Nothing about their architecture causes passersby to think about God. A church in my hometown looks like a nightclub, and the architecture of the church is a true indication of its worldly false worship.
Often churches are plain and simple structures devoid of any beauty or dignity because the congregation wants to spend as little money as possible on the Lord’s House. They justify their stinginess by alleging that the architecture of the church doesn’t matter because the heart is all that God desires; and that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So, if our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, then why do many of these folks desecrate their bodies with tattoos? Tattoos are like writing graffiti on the temple. The Bible clearly denounces tattoos (Leviticus 19:28). And why do they desecrate their bodies with piercings like the heathen in foreign lands?
Some protest because they are simply ignorant of the importance of the architectural beauty of the church. They do not understand that church architecture is meaningful: its appearance produces in the onlooker a certain state of mind. The church can, from a strictly practical point of view, be conceived as any sort of a building. But the building must awaken in the person who sees it certain religious ideas.
Simply put, the church is not just a place to accommodate a congregation. Architecture produces a sentiment. And architecture has a character. Just as a person’s dress reflects his character, a church’s architecture often reflects its character. This is truer of modern churches than older church buildings. For example, a contemporary church building generally indicates the character of the service is contemporary. Older church buildings that offered traditional worship when first built often now offer both traditional and contemporary.
And the interior of the church reflects the congregation’s character. So, what is the character of a church with a “stage”? Worldly. A church stage reflects the congregation’s love of entertainment. A stage is a raised platform upon which theatrical and musical performances are presented before an audience. Therefore, a church stage is for performances: motivation speeches instead of sermons, dramas, rock bands, and other entertainment. Modern churches are designed for entertainment, not holy worship. The worldly architecture of modern churches reflects their worldly character.
On the other hand, the holy character of the Tabernacle and the Temple was reflected in their architecture. The holiness of God was made conspicuous by the character and form of the Tabernacle and its furniture. God gave Moses specific instructions concerning the nature, construction and furnishings of the Tabernacle. And God provided skilled laborers to perform the work:
Then wrought Bezaleel and
The work was carried out by wise-hearted workmen whom the Lord had given wisdom and understanding to know how to do the work, and when the task was completed the tent was covered by a cloud which enshrouded the divine glory (Exodus 40:34).
David wanted to build a temple, but God preferred that David’s son Solomon build His House (1 Chronicles 17:1-12). David, however, began to gather money and materials for the Temple. When Solomon began to build the Temple, God did not provide specific details for the Temple because He had blessed him with wisdom: Solomon modeled the Temple after the Tabernacle. He demonstrated wisdom in building the House of the Lord; the Temple was beautiful: the walls of the House – inside and outside – were overlaid with gold; the cherubims were overlaid with gold, the floor was overlaid with gold – within and without; the doors were magnificently carved and overlaid with gold…you get the picture.
And all who truly love the Lord God will desire to build for Him a beautiful church. The holiness of God will be conspicuous by the character and form of the church and its furniture. And they will want the best architecture, the best materials, the best workmen…all for the glory of God. And they will fill the sanctuary with reverent and glorious worship to honor the King of kings. And the Lord will be present!
Let the glory of the Lord fill the sanctuary!
Holiness and Reverence
The true church is holy, for it is set apart and sanctified by Christ. It is consecrated by the nature of its worship. In other words, the church is not worldly.
Love not the world,
The true church understands that true Christians are not worldly in their personal lives or public worship.
But the false church of false Christians is worldly in their personal lives and demand worldly worship. It worships worldly living and worldly worship. The false church and its congregation want be “awesome” in the eyes of each other, and in the eyes of the world: “Christian” rock music, tattoos, body piercings, punk haircuts, and so forth.
Worldliness in the false church is evidenced by replacing the church choir with the church rock band. And it is evidenced by replacing the church service with the church program. And it is evidenced by replacing the church platform with the church stage. A stage is a raised platform for musical or theatrical performances: rock bands, dramas, and so forth. Clearly, a false church exalts worldly performances.
On the contrary, the true church understands a place of worship is not for man, but for God. King David understood this…
Furthermore David the king
said unto all the congregation,
The word “palace” in this Scripture means the Temple as expressed in subsequent verses: “the house of my God,” “the holy house,” “the house of the Lord” and so forth. Of course, we cannot compare the Temple to a modern church sanctuary. The Tabernacle and Temple occupied under the old dispensation a position no building can now occupy. They housed the Ark of the Covenant – the literal dwelling seat of the Lord God. Today, the Lord Jesus Christ is enshrined and enthroned in the inner temple of our hearts. But still we gather together to worship in the Lord’s House.
Just as you have no right or liberty to dictate how to run my house, you have no right or liberty to dictate how to run the Lord’s House. The Bible provides eternal principles for the Lord’s House. The Bible never expressly states or implies that you can impose your personal preferences onto a church: a cowboy church, a rock ‘n’ roll church, and other man-centered whims. The House of the Lord is for the glory of God, not to please man’s whimsical and foolish fancies.
Irrefutably, the Bible teaches that self-willed worship angers God. For example, Nadab and Abihu offered strange or common fire in the tabernacle service. And God punished them; they were immediately struck dead.
And Nadab and Abihu,
And there went out fire from
Then Moses said unto Aaron,
Nadab and Abihu’s sin of burning incense of their own, instead of fire from the altar, showed contempt of God command. “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh unto me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” We are not at liberty to do what we please in the Lord’s House. We may not worship in a light careless way, without due reverence and solemnity.
The true church is Christ-centered: prayer, praise, and thanksgiving unto the Lord.
The true church is filled with reverence and holiness because it is the Lord's House.
The Church Is the Lord’s House
Remember those folks on Facebook that argued the church isn't the Lord's House? They're right. Their worldly church isn't the Lord's House. It's filled with the carnal spirit of man, not Spirit-filled.
Born-again Spirit-filled Christians know the truth about the church.
The church is the Lord’s House.
No Reverence in God's House
True Churches Will Make America Great Again