Where Old Churches Go to Die – they become Tae Kuan Doe Centers.
This is part of a continuing discussion about the church as building and what it does to mercy. The discussion started on Wednesday.
Part of our problem it seems to me is that the very nature of the church buildings that we build are anti-Christian in that they are built antithetically to our vocation and the reason the church exists. Luther once said, “If you find yourself in a work by which you accomplish something good for God, or the holy, or yourself, but not for your neighbor alone, then you should know that that work is not a good work. For each one ought to live, speak, act, hear, suffer, and die in love and service for another, even for one’s enemies, a husband for his wife and children, a wife for her husband, children for their parents, servants for their masters, masters for their servants, rulers for their subjects and subjects for their rulers, so that one’s hand, mouth, eye, foot, heart and desire is for others; these are Christian works, good in nature.” We have by definition built our churches to the “glory of God”. By Luther’s definition that was not a good work. We didn’t do it out of love for the neighbor. We never asked if our neighbors and fellow servants in Christ could pay for them, maintain them, or in their old age enter them. We never asked how many of our neighbors around the world might die because we spent $60000 for a new roof rather than food for the hungry.
I could probably be persuaded that somewhere in the deep recesses of our histories there were churches built for the benefit of the neighbor but they became quickly clubhouses for the comfortable and became the “mission”.