Comment to 'The Synagogue'
Comment to The Synagogue
  • Another 'institution' which, along with the synagogue, naturally came into existence due to necessity and expediency, was the diaconate or the table servers for the poor widows. Chronicled in Acts 6.

    Wow, how we long for the church to again become a health and welfare provider!

    OK. In other words, the first Christians were not met with permanent "church blueprints" for all people in all ages in all places. But rather a few abiding principles which also left room for change according to the changing landscape. Where the spirit is - there is liberty. 

    If the Almighty has not forbidden something - and it is beneficial for the edification of others, by all means, prayerfully consider such a course.

    As for the interior of a synagogue, the benches were positioned toward Jerusalem. This gives new meaning to Jesus' conversation with the woman at the well:  

    "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. ... But the hour is coming, and is now here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth."

    Our Lord is declaring here that location is no longer important in the big picture of worship and life. Whether public house of worship or private house meeting - both of these are mere physical locations. God is seeking SPIRITUAL worship irrespective of the physical location. 

    Carefully observe that Jesus did not teach: "But the hour is coming and is now here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in private houses only." Yet this is what house church purists maintain. Personally, I have heard it and I have read it online and in several books. In reality, it just makes us all look a little backward...

    If house meetings were the only legitimate form of church structure for all people in all places for all time, Jesus surely would have had something specific to say about it. Instead, he attended both small household meetings and large public meetings, too. As did his apostles. On many recorded occasions. Over a period of many years.

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