Making over the church

From Motion Sickness:

Say the Gospel, all of the important ?matter? of the Christian faith, was placed in a house. Chesterton says that with anything that someone really cares about or stands behind they will build on it and make it something wonderful for others to behold. That I don?t see as a problem, and I consider it to be a good truth. Paul tells many of his churches to do the same with their own faith. However, it may be that over the course of time the Church (capital ?C?) has gone overboard. We?ve added additions, made renovations – a hot tub here, a plasma TV there – and decorated the area around the precious Gospel with so much glitter and glam that now the house has been radically changed. But the problem is, we?ve spent so much time on the interior that we forget to tend to the exterior – heck, we forget what it even looks like! When someone who has spent their life on the inside finally goes outside, they reach the end of the driveway, turn around, look at the house, and exclaim, ?That?s where I was?!? One of three reactions follow: they decide that more time needs to be spent on the outside to make the house truly reflect what lives in it; they retreat back inside to hide; or they say, ?I can?t believe I spent so much time living in a heap. I?m outta here.? I see far too much of the second two, and not nearly enough of the first. (link)

PS:  Click on “link” to read the whole thing.  I should know better than to take an analogy out of context.  It will make more sense, if it doesn’t now, if you read the whole post at Motion Sickness.

3 thoughts on “Making over the church

  1. davevegt

    I don’t understand what you wrote. Are you talking about the actual physical exterior of a building? Its late so it might just be me. Maybe you are referring to the message of the gospel itself…what it looks like on the exterior?

    Interestingly enough, I just finished a Western Art History course where we took a good look at some churches starting with the earliest Christian take overs of the Roman basilicas (assembly halls), through the middle ages of the Romanesque, Gothic and proto-Rennaisance cathedrals. Incredible buildings.

    One of my favorites is the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, of Revenna, Italy. It has a very modest exterior design, but within it is floor to ceiling opulence, with mosaics covering practically every inch. It was meant to symbolize the exterior and interior of the Christian life: modest on the outside with extreme spiritual wealth on the inside. Its not a monster, like Notre Dame or Chartres, built on the taxing of the poor, but could house a few hundred locals comfortably.

  2. davevegt

    Ok I read it again, and I think you mean the faith as a whole, am I right?

    Going with that, I am one of those people who stepped out of the Church, looked back, took in a deep breath of dispare, almost walked away, but felt there was nothing else to walk to, turned back around and now am scratching my head and wondering what it is I should do.

    I think some “Houses” that encompass the Gospel are like the house my wife and I rented for two years in Aldergrove. It belonged to an old lady who past away, who was from the depression era. She would collect every disposable foam tray from her ground beef, clean them and keep them, because you never know when you might need them. There was so much clutter built up that two dumpsters were filled.

    We need to see what is really necessary and what has been collecting through religiosity, and throw out that which is no longer useful or even relevent.

  3. Marc

    I think your second thought is the point. If you click on “link” at the end of the quote you can read the entire thing, which perhaps will make more sense. The writer was speaking metaphorically.

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