Friday, April 03, 2009

Things to never tell a child: #1 The church is God's house

Never teach a child that the church is God's house.
I hear this one when parent (usually) want their child to know that they should be on their best behavior. Other times it is give as a reason to be excited about going to church services or programs.  It usually works only for the youngest children or as part of a threat.

When I hear people talking about not running in the house of God, I get a picture of a God who is snooty.  You know, that old, proper grandparent type person who has you sit on the edge of the couch because the comfortable looking chair is too precious to actually sit on.

Never tell your children that the building that the people of God meet in is God's house.  The Church is God's people, his Bride.  The church is not a building.  The building that the people of God meet in is not his house.  God is everywhere.  If you teach your children that the building, the church, is God's house and deserves special rules, you also teach them that those rules don't apply at home, at school, in the park, or at the local mall. It teaches that there are places and times to be holy and places and times that that's not important.

I want my children to be holy always.  I know that they aren't going to be that way, but my hope is that they will be holy 24/7.  I want God and pleasing God to be the motivation wherever they are.

The Temple was called the House of God in the Old Testament, but the church building is not the Temple.  The Church is the people of God, called out in his holiness to be holy.  The Temple is the people of God.  So why you should never say of the building that it is God's house, the truth is the Church (people) are the Temple of God and we are God's house to live holy no matter where we are.  Teach your children to be holy at all time but not with threats of messing up the house of some snooty God.