The COVID-19 virus caused the emptying of 21st Century Christianity’s churches and cathedrals. While the empty tomb of our Lord and Savior is, and forever will be the main power source of Christianity, the Social Distancing edict might have inadvertently caused a miracle. Due to COVID-19, maybe empty church buildings will also become, in a small way, (a) power source for modern-day Christianity. Maybe our closed buildings will mean an opening to global evangelism.
The empty tomb meant that the old religious order of continual animal sacrifices was over. It means that the old order of the priesthood was over. It meant that the veil, which separated you and me from direct access to God was torn down. And very importantly, it meant that where two or more are gathered, there in their midst is the very presences of God, and no longer confined to the temple made by man. It means that even when we are alone, and without each other that God is with us and in our very own hearts.
God’s people no longer needed priests. God’s people no longer needed animal sacrifices to make atonement. God’s people no longer had to experience His favor and presence by proxy. And, God’s people no longer were confined to a temple made of bricks and mortar.
Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are free of all the religious trappings and traditions of men and of the consequences of the law. We are free to be the Church wherever we gather, even as few as two people!
Let us capitalize on our present situation and be convinced, once and for all, that we, as God’s people are the Church. We are the living Church. We, you and I are the Bride of Christ. Our church buildings, plain or palatial were never meant to be the representation to the world. Although, sadly, Church buildings had become the identity of Christianity. It is my hope that God’s people will be recognized as the Church, and regain her position as the living Bride of Christ and the center of Christianity.
One Sunday, Toni and I visited a Church in Oakdale, California. When we arrived, we walked in and learned that the Church was emptied except for a few people that were preparing a luncheon, later to be enjoyed by the returning congregation. Rather than their typical service, the Church was in the downtown square, assisting their local community. We were actually pleasantly surprised and not at all offended by the empty sanctuary.
Do not be overcome because we cannot presently occupy a building, but celebrate that with or without buildings that we are the Bride of Christ, and that we’re meant to deliver the Gospel of the Kingdom to every nation and to every people. In doing so, our proclamation will hasten the ending and will launch the new beginning that we’ve all been longing for.
For the past 1700 years, Christianity created and built ornate cathedrals with spires and steeples pointing to the heavens.
Let the truth be known:
“Church steeples can be traced back thousands of years to Egypt and pagan worship. Roman Emperor Constantine and his “Edict of Milan” in 313CE, made the Empire officially neutral with regard to religion. Eventually, Pagan and Christian symbols were eventually merged at the Council of Nicea in 325CE, and new doctrines and dogmas were set up by the Holy Roman Catholic (meaning universal) Church, and strictly enforced, under penalty of death.”
Since then, this building emphasis, along with Christianity continually orbiting ornate and palatial constructs, we’ve ceased going into all the world with the Gospel, and instead invited all the world into our buildings. Over time, the contrast between Christianity and “worldlism” diminished. Rather than the world becoming more influenced by Christianity, the world’s influence had crept into our Churches and has negated our need for faith and the Great Commission.
Let’s pray that this COVID-19 virus heals Christianity from its obsession with buildings and steeples, and instead goes out, even as few as two-by-two, to all the peoples.
God’s blessings and power to the true Living Church and Bride of Christ – Amen
Copperopolis, California, USA