Just a few days ago I was accused of being an “anarchist” by a denominational minister who published a post on what is the “biblically” proper architectural design and décor of a church building,(“christian feng shui” ?) One of his comments was that the “church” is here to educate the people, not listen to their opinions. My comment to him was that this sounds exactly like magisterial Rome, i.e. the RCC. I offered biblical support for my statement, he then called me an anarchist, who misused and abused scripture.
His comments re: the church vs the people demonstrates a distinctly roman notion, i.e. there is a distinction between the church (magisterial hierarchy, and the people, i.e. those filling the pews. Scripture makes no such distinction. The church, that is the Body of Christ, IS the people, the elect saints of God. There is no clergy/laity construct in His church. Christ is Head over his body the church, and all authority is established in that fact. Christ as Word made flesh, and His written word, (not a man’s title) are the sole basis of authority. (Eph1:22-23; 4:11-16)
The Bible is clear; the only time God’s word addresses a structure along with furnishings and order of service is the tabernacle in the wilderness, which Moses constructed according to God’s heavenly design (Exodus ch 24-31) The Book of Hebrews informs us that such a structure and its’ order are fulfilled entirely in Christ alone and are therefore obsolete, (ch 7-10). The “tabernacle of David” is copy and shadow of this, and is currently seen as this fulfillment. (Amos 9: 11-12; Acts 15:13-18; Eph 2:11-3:12) Note that the temples of Solomon, the returned exiles, and Herod, were allowed for a time and a season ,but do not point to God’s ultimate purposes. Interesting that the when Solomon placed the ark in his version of “church” it contained only the tablets of the Law and not the omer of manna and Aaron’s rod. (2Chron 5:10; Hebrews 9:1-12 especially verse 4; the church is mobile, not the static one built of human effort).
The temples constructed by the returning exiles and Herod’s monument to himself which engulfed the exile’s much humbler version, never were home to the ark. The curtain torn in two not only revealing fulfillment in Christ’s death, but also that there was never anything there leading to salvation/forgiveness. Word of God speak!
Scripture is crystal clear that the saints are the building of God in and through Christ, the metaphor of living stones, cornerstone, temple etc . reveal this truth. (1 Peter 4-10; 1 Cor 3:16;2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:19-22)
The system of church buildings, liturgy, pulpit, pew, denominations etc ,etc . are the religious constructs of men, not the fruit of any decree from the Word of God. If you desire to meet that way, feel free to do so, but do not impose a command where none exists. Hebrews 10:24-25 finds its fulfillment anytime anyway and anywhere the saints gather; which is why there is no mention of schedule ,location or format in this passage.
The church is free to meet wherever and whenever it is able to, and/or desires to. The idea of pastors as being the sole authority is just plain wrong. "Pastoring", (indeed all legitimate biblically based leadership) is a lifetime call on a man, and a gift to the Body. It is not a career choice which includes retirement benefits. The visible entity that calls itself the church wastes all its time and energy on foolishness such as ornate wood pulpits vs plexiglass, hymns vs contemporary, and on and on. The western professing church makes the mistake of placing cultures and human traditions as manifestations of the Kingdom of God. We are free in Christ to worship Him in whatever context. He has sovereignly placed us to do so; which is the fruit of Spirit and Truth. (John 4:23-24; Galatians 2:4-5)
1 Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?
2 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
3 "He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig's blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations;
2Chronicles 6:18 "But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.