Jesus didn’t seem to be a big fan of the shiny temples of his day.
His church was under the spiritual direction of a wild-eyed mystical wilderness pastor named John the Baptizer. After the Baptizer dunked him in the river, Jesus came out of the water and saw God descending from the skies.
Jesus wasn’t into temples.
He was into sanctuaries.
Some of us have had numinous moments such as this without any kind of religious ceremonies surrounding them — and they’re just as valid. I wouldn’t say we need a temple to experience the divine. But it’s nice to have a sanctuary.
Building a temple that goes against temple mentality is how you turn a temple into a sanctuary.
You create a sanctuary by providing a sacred space and nurturing a living culture that isn’t driven by hierarchical power structures or levels of status. This is hard to do in a culture that’s trained to operate as such.
Now, I’m not speaking against pastors, priests, or ministers here. But our standing with God does not come through them. Their job is merely to be stewards — hosts and hostesses if you will — of divine interaction.
Some churches have created sanctuary successfully.
Others have missed the plot.