How Big? How Small?
What we build for God reveals how small our God is. In fact anything we attempt to build for God reveals that we truly misunderstand the whole concept of Incarnation and Creator and Redemption. The biggest mega-church is minute. The most liberal of theologies is not wide enough. The latest emerging church network barely scratches a surface. Internet networking and Skype fellow-shipping is big but not big enough. Whatever we are creating in terms of fellowship and connection and gathering does not cut the mustard. All of these things are signs of a tiny temple. We always think that God works our way because we have been privileged with the insider information. That my theology is ‘the’ theology, my stream is the freshest and most pure river, that my holy book contains all there is to know about God and my interpretation of that book is the most accurate there is because my Greek and Hebrew are second to none. It is amazing that the schizophrenic God contains Himself in so many different personalities that are right. The dogmatic always wins. God fits their mould, their temple, flows in their stream. He may take a paddle elsewhere but He swims in my tide. Yet there is that outside place, you know the bit that has no God. The place where the other lives. The rebel, the outcast, the sinner, the heretic, the lesbian and gay believer, the Muslim, the pagan, they live in that place outside the temple, where God does not dwell. Surely this is the thinking of a tiny temple. What happens when God wants to tread outside our defined boundaries for Him, is He allowed? But He cannot contradict what it says in the Book people say. Is that not the thinking of a tiny temple? Can we dictate to God where He can and cannot go? ‘You cannot talk to women at wells’. ‘You cannot touch lepers’. ‘You cannot be talking about the Samaritans’. ‘You cannot include those dirty Gentiles’. Jesus was so rude to ignore those temple and Book rules. Peter should have known better, wasn’t he a man of the Book. Their temples seem to be stretching the canvas a bit too much.
Contain to Sustain.
We all want to keep God on a leash. We do not want Him straying outside the boundary. He should always contain Himself within my mindset. The world would be a better place if everyone saw it like me. We try to contain God in our creation to sustain what we want to see built. Our view of God, people, offence etc. will all shape what we try to sustain. Then God comes as the Divine Feminine as Ruach, She embraces people outside our remit, it offends us that God could love people of the gay community because I have trouble with them personally. Much better to have a God in my image that I can contain and then I can sustain a temple fit for my God without the things that can tarnish or ruffle or shake up or make me uncomfortable. That is why many spend a life time looking for the church that suits them. The one they feel at home in. The temple that fits how they are. A church made for us is a tiny temple. Whether that be cell church, house church, mega church or emerging church, we want the one that sustains our thinking. One that contains God to the place of making us feel good and better. This is my kind of worship! This man really preaches the Word and blesses me! The fellowship is real! I feel His presence every time we gather! This is the creation of a tiny temple. What if one size fits all !!!!!!!
A Temple for Man not God.
If we are truly honest what we build one earth is not for God but for man, for ourselves. If we really believe God lives in these places and can be contained by our theology we really have missed the message and the good news. David was so excited about his plans to build an ornate dwelling place for God. Surely God did not want to be free to dwell in community in the wind blown tabernacle with no sides to keep Him behind closed doors. He surely wants to be hidden by us and for us with gold and brilliant designs and religious ceremonies and true theology and live only amongst His people and for His people. The temple plans were laid. The message that came from the prophet; “But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him?” Think that will hold me in buddy? Think just because you do 24/7 worship, have powerful Word teaching, give 10% of your gross income, don’t neglect gathering by going to church four times a week that I will just come and dwell with you? Do you think I will stop communing with those of other religions, stop having fellowship those people because they are gay, cease talking to those pagans who claim to hear the Divine through goddess earth? Had I better stop doing that because that is outside the remit of your temple? Does not God fill the heavens and the earth and more besides? Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I go from your presence? If I lay my bed in the depths you are there. I know that I have been there. The reason I am writing today is because that is true. He does not, has not, nor ever will live in temples made with hands. When God was dwelling in Moses tabernacle did He cease to dwell in the desert or the Nations? When God came to visit Solomon’s Temple was She no longer brooding over the Nations? When Jesus was on earth in Body form was God no longer living outside Jerusalem? Now we have the Church, does that confine Him? All of this is the building of a tiny temple.
Thank God He is bigger than My God.
‘My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing that He cannot do.’ Learnt that as a kid getting his theology shaped pre putting my hand up :). Then I spent the rest of my life finding out that God is really only big enough to fit my thinking and theology. There is a few things he cannot do like love the homosexual community, talk through the Koran, fellowship with somebody outside of going to church, reveal Himself as a Herself, save atheists, die for the whole of mankind to redeem everything. He cannot talk through unbelievers, He cannot have a visitation without lots of prayer, He cannot come without me singing a song, He cannot do anything else outside the Bible. The God who started off as pretty big slowly got contained to my image. The image portrayed by interpretation and years of church history. God would not and could not act contrary to this image. Anything outside this is error. How dare anyone go into the tabernacle and make food from the offering? How dare anyone eat on a Sunday and without washing their hands? How dare anyone eat meat prohibited by the Law? How dare anyone sit at a table with Gentiles? God does not do stuff like that. He cannot work outside the revelation that I have of Him. My God is the God of the tiny temple.