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Friday, December 3, 2010

Simple Church Minute 27--steeples

NOTE:  I originally wrote a segment for each of the 61 points Frank Viola and George Barna make in their book, Pagan Christianity, about traditions in the institutional church not based on scripture.  After writing it, I chose to not include this segment merely as I felt that in wouldn’t be an interesting radio commentary.

My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute
            In Genesis 1, God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, and take dominion over creation.  This may well be the directive of God that ungodly man has done his best to follow, although the population explosion and pollution can both be considered a perversion of taking dominion over the earth.  Adam and Eve and their progeny sinned, but did not spread over the earth.  God sent the flood, and told Noah the same thing.  Once again, his descendents did not spread over the earth, and specifically, chose to sin by building an astrological tower to heaven.  Now, we know that with their ancient construction methods, they would not have gotten all that far up before getting impossibly frustrated, but God chose to intervene with the miracle of confusing their speech, forcing them to go various ways.
            In the book of Habakkuk, the prophet is warned by God that the Chaldeans will overrun Israel, and he hides and watches it happen from another astrological tower.  The Babylonians and Egyptians built and attached religious significance to pointed buildings.
The Bible does the opposite.
            The early church did not even have buildings.  Only with the Byzantine period did pointed towers begin to appear on church buildings. Over the centuries, they got taller and taller.  This trend ended in 1666, when a fire happened in London and damaged most of the churches. The replacement buildings were designed with the modern, shorter steeple.  The whole idea of a steeple is to point to the heavens, but for the believer in Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwells inside us; there is no need to stare up mystically.

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