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Keeping God’s Temple Clean

By Christopher L. Scott

Moses Lake, Wash.Christopher Scott blue ridge christian news

I spent the week thinking about how to make the Sunday church service an environment where we could praise God and enjoy fellowship together. This meant recruiting greeters to work outside to welcome people, printing a bulletin for each person to have along with teaching notes for the sermon, ensuring the air conditioning worked well and having someone clean the church facility before everyone arrived on Sunday. The environment for people to come and worship God was prepared.
But someone else had been working all week to destroy it. He probably didn’t intend to do this, but he was good at it. And he did it almost every week. Carl would arrive at church, enter the door, and immediately look for me. All week he had been thinking about an issue or problem with the church. When he arrived at church he wanted to talk with me, the associate pastor of our church in California, about what was wrong with our church and what I needed to do to fix it (or what I had already failed to do to fix it).
A morning intended for praise for our Lord quickly became a morning focused on criticizing the associate pastor. The result was an awkward conflict that was publicly seen often in front of others.
Carl had a habit—and he was good at it—of destroying the atmosphere of love for one another and praise of God at church. This was one of the scenarios Paul warns the believers about in the city of Corinth: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, NASB)
These two verses describe how God’s people and the church are the temple of God. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul describes the individual as being the temple of God, but that is not the intended meaning here in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. This is because “you” in verse 16 is plural in the Greek and the passage starts in verse 10 describing the building of God’s church as a group of people, not one person.
But what does this mean for us? If we find ourselves being that man that causes trouble to God’s church we need to accept that things won’t always be the way they should be. Churches are not perfect even if we try our best to make them that way. This means we need to accept that our churches and the people working in them are flawed.
If we find ourselves troubled by someone, let go. Each Sunday we need to “let go.” Don’t fight. Don’t cause a scene. Just be kind and let it go.


Christopher L. Scott, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, is a pastor and freelance writer. Christopher L. Scott writes from Exeter, CA. Learn more about his writing ministry at

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