The Church and our Edifice Complex

I came across a few helpful thoughts from Andrew Reid’s commentary on Genesis when I was thinking through The Story of the Babel Builders for this past Sunday.

“Having a home of your own somehow means something. It conveys a sense of belonging and of security and refuge. It panders to that deep-seated need within us all to flee the transitory and to seek security in something stable.”

“This personal tie to buildings mirrors a problem that God’s people have had throughout history. Most meeting places for God’s people have had very humble beginnings – tents in the wilderness, places of prayer besides rivers, school classrooms, and the like. But then, as the gospel is preached, more people come and casual meeting places are no longer adequate. People begin to feel reputable and crave something more stable, and so they build buildings. These buildings make demands, chew up time, money and resources. This problem alone might be manageable if it were not that the people of God begin to put their trust and security in the buildings. For the people of god, as with us individually, buildings often convey safety, security and comfort. At this point the children of a moving God often lose direction.”

There seems to be something strangely ironic about the followers of this moving, seeking, scattering God and our obsession with buildings to provide us with stability, respectability and legitimacy.

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