I am really fired up by looking at the Letter to the Hebrews. Just look at chapter 9 verse 11,
But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation.
Clearly, for our author, along with the rest of the New Testament writers and teachers, under this New Covenant, human constructed temples, buildings, “churches” have been superseded in favour of a more perfect tabernacle, not made with human hands, not a part of this creation. Those who first received this blessing understood they had access to a perfect place, singly and together, the place where Jesus is: at the right hand of God. Think about it—what a privilege this is! They met together in homes, courtyards, public spaces, not in specially designed buildings. So different from the old deal with the nation of Israel and its temple. Everything has changed!
Specially designed buildings came much later, and with it came veneration of spaces, consecration of buildings just like the pagans around them. (Even the Jews did not venerate their synagogues.)
Stupid, human, pagan ideas came in, ushering in the imitation of worldly religion, organisational administration and waste of resources. The invention of sacred places was perhaps necessitated by the invention of ‘services’ and formal liturgical ‘worship’. It became part of the triumphalism of the Catholic multi-national organisation that took root in the third century (which persists today in many forms) and then evolved into establishment of mystical sanctuaries where God is somehow imagined to dwell.
This stuff is totally without apostolic mandate. It slaps Jesus in the face, ignoring his work and denigrating the perfect place he has prepared for us. Do we think we can do better than God? As Isaiah (Isa 66:1) shouted
“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?”
Why do we Bible-lovers persist in behaving like the rest of mankind when the Father has planned something so much better for us? Why have we gotten so far away from the teachings of the apostles? There is so much in this Letter to the Hebrews which should turn our hearts to the real, away from the shadows and make us feel sick of the pathetic, boring, world-conforming imitations around us.
Just look at the total confusion around the use of the word “church” (from the Greek ekklesia). In the Greek that word meant meeting, gathering. It was the everyday, common word for assembly. And now it commonly means a building, a total manipulation of the meaning to replace the gathered people of God in and around Jesus, with something made by human hands. How pathetic.
Remember how Jesus turned angrily on the Bible-lovers of his day who kept on putting tradition before the Word of God, that word which will never pass away, though all other words, systems, philosophies, religions, will disappear. What will he say to us when we see him face to face?
When are we all going to get it?