I’m starting to realize that so much of what Christianity is focused on has absolutely nothing to do with anything that God actually wants.
For example, Christians are all about growing the Church – which is primarily about the size of the building – even though God never asked anyone to build a Temple for God.
When King David gets this idea God’s response was this:
“This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ [2 Sam. 7:5-7]
In other words, God says, “I never asked anyone to build a Temple for me.”
So, why does the Temple get built? Because people wanted one, not God.
What does God want? God wants to make a home in us, not in a building. As Jesus tells us: “If anyone loves me, my Father and I will come to him and will make our home in him.” [John 14:23]
But you can’t have a religion without a Temple, and so Christians have been focused on buildings and holy structures because it’s what they need to perpetuate the system, not because it’s anything God ever asked for.
Christians are also still very focused on sacrifice. In other words, God requires you to give something up to prove your love and devotion. God expects you to suffer in various ways as an indication of your faith. Yet, not only does God not desire sacrifice in terms of actual animals being killed on an altar, God doesn’t desire any sacrifice of any kind whatsoever.
Again, Jesus reminds us:
“Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” [Matt. 9:13]
Yet, Christians today are being told by their leaders that God wants them to sacrifice their finances to contribute to the building fund, or to give up leisure time with the family to do ministry work, or to suffer any number of various inconveniences to demonstrate their devotion to God. Even though God has been very clear that it’s mercy that matters most.
As a reminder, mercy is compassion for your fellow man. It’s extending a helping hand. It’s an expression of love for other human beings in your surrounding community, family and circle of influence.
This is why Jesus stresses the importance of loving one another as he has loved us.
Christians today are also very focused on defining, quantifying and condemning sin. Even though Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” [John 1:29], and even though “God was in Christ NOT counting our sins against us but reconciling the world to Himself” [2 Cor. 5:19], and even though God “keeps no record of wrongs” [1 Cor. 13:5], and even though God has declared that under the New Covenant “their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” [Heb. 10:17], we are all about measuring, highlighting and dwelling on sins 24/7.
Bottom line: Christians really seem to care much less about what God wants and are more concerned with things that God has already told us mean nothing.
God never wanted a temple. God wants to draw near to your heart and live within you.
God never wanted your sacrifice. God only wants you to love the people around you.
God never wanted us to focus on our sins. God has forever removed your sins from you and declares you to be reconciled.
Forget what your religious leaders tell you. They’re more interested in perpetuating a religious system that exists primarily to keep itself alive than they are in perpetuating what God wants.
What does God want? God wants you to know you are loved, accepted, forgiven and welcome.
Religion wants your sacrifice. God wants you to love and be loved.
Religion wants you chained to your sins. God has already forgotten your sins.
Religion wants you to help build larger buildings. God wants to build a deeper connection with you.
What do you want?
Deconstructing your faith isn’t easy. Don’t go through it alone.
Starting May 10, we’ll launch our next round of Square 1 – a 90-day online course and online community designed to help you navigate the Deconstruction process and move on to Reconstruction without Self-Destruction.
For a limited time, you can register for a whopping 75% off at this link HERE>
If you’re looking for someone to walk with you through this process, please meet me at Square 1.
Keith Giles and his wife, Wendy, work with Peace Catalyst International to help build relationships between Christians and Muslims in El Paso, TX. Keith was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church over a decade ago to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today he is the author of the best-selling “Jesus Un” series of books, including “Jesus Unforsaken: Substituting Divine Wrath With Unrelenting Love” which is available now on Amazon.