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The Body Is the Temple, So I Don't Need Church (Discussion Transcript)

posted Sep 26, 2014, 6:48 AM by Carlos García   [ updated Oct 7, 2014, 9:11 AM ]
The following is part of a longer conversation. To adequately address this, the issue is that the person in question believed that we didn't need to attend nor be part of a church. They set the following challenge:


The question was simple, but I'll help you out since you seem lost

Ephesians 2:20-22
Acts 20:28
1 Corinthians 3:17
Ephesians 2:19-22
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

This list can go on and on. These 5 examples all point to 1 thing. YOU are the holy temple, not some place of brick and mortar. It's nice to have such a place to go to but "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" Matthew 18:20?



The following is our response:



Ephesians 2:20-22
Ephesians 2:19-22 (not sure if you intentionally overlapped these)
This passage recounts how the saints are fit together into a holy temple. It references the fact that the body is the temple as stated by Jesus when he referred to the temple being destroyed then rebuilt in 3 days. 

Still, in context, this is about the assembling/bringing together of members on one accord for the building of what's referred to as the body of Christ (basically, the larger church as a whole). In this allegory, Paul speaks of pieces being touched together, not separated. This is something that's later spoken of in Hebrews 10:25 where forsaking the assembling of the saints is forbidden. 

You also bring up 1 Corinthinas 6:19-20 which is further writing on the subject. But, in context of 1 Corinthians 6, there's text preceding this passage that forbids Christians from fornication (which there's evidence Corinth was a hub for sexual sins).

Acts 20:28
In this passage, Paul (with Luke recording) is addressing the overseers of the church. (Pastors to use the modern vernacular). He's telling them to feed the church. This may be a reference to how Christ said that man shall not live by bread alone,but every word that comes from the mouth of God.(Deut 8:3 & Matt 4:4). 

In this case, the church overseers should be sure to preach the word of God and ensure that the people have access to sound teaching. This passage in Acts is followed by the warning that "wolves" will come to cause division in the church. Furthermore, people from the church will start causing divisions as well by teaching things that aren't in line with God's word. 



1 Corinthians 3:17
Keep in mind that 1 Corinthians deals more on sexuality faux pas than any other book in the Bible. This is because the church of Corinth was a sex hub.That said, 1 Corinthians 3 is where Paul is affirming that the Spirit of God dwells within the believer. This is another reference to the teaching of Christ that the body is a temple made for the dwelling of God's Spirit. 


It seems like you are making a case that each person is his/her own church. That we don't need to go to church every Sunday. Matthew 12:43-45 & Luke 11:24-26 both recount Jesus' teaching that if a demon (unclean spirit) is cast out of a person and nothing takes its place in that person, then 7 more demons (unclean spirits) will enter to that person making them worse off. If you contrast this against the verses you offered, it's plausible that a person may have been healed of spiritual affliction, but their body will be the house (or temple, by extension) for whatever foul spirit takes over after they fail to replace the demonic with the Spirit of God. 


Something else to keep in mind is that verse in Hebrews (10:25). We're not to forsake the assembling. This means that people are connected to one another. In Acts 2:42, the early church is described as people coming together to hear the gospel ("apostle's doctrine"), fellowship (interaction with other believers), food ("breaking of bread"), and prayer.

Consider also the letter of Pliny the Younger to Emperor Tarjan. In this letter, Pliny describes the Christians as having gathered on a certain day which they believed holy, eating together, and worshipping Jesus as if he was a god. Pliny's letter is extra-biblical, but never the less, confirms what's happening in Acts. 

So, when a person says that they don't need the church, I find that it's usually based in an offence. Scripture prescribes and requires that we gather together to worship God.



Their Response

Again, you are re-iterating the very basic point I have made. You're killing me guy...

You are the holy temple, the representation of Christ. 

Why do you feel the need to give some lesson here that is not needed? 

Please go somewhere of people who want to learn, need to learn, and don't have an understanding. You're preaching to someone who knows this pretty well and you're falling on deaf ears here

You are truthfully sounding like a broken record, but trying to add additional info that is not referring to the subject matter at hand...


Our Response

You're point is still very unclear. Your words sound like you are saying that we DON'T need the church. I have provided evidence showing that we DO need the church. SO far, you haven't interacted with any of the evidence provided. So, be very clear as to what you're saying?

Does a person need to attend the church?



Their Response

Good God, you're about as dense as someone  mentally disabled. @ least they are understandable for their condition.

There is no true need for brick and mortar... 

One more time...

YOU ARE THE HOLY TEMPLE, THE BODY OF CHRIST, THE REPRESENTATION OF JESUS HIMSELF.

If you insist on having some brick and mortar place, so be it, but that ISN'T THE CHURCH!!?


Our Response

You're very wrong. There is a need for a meeting place. It doesn't have to be brick and mortar. Some villages only have a tent. Never the less, the term ecclesia means a calling out and coming together. It implies that people are coming out of their homes and coming together in a designated place. 

So, I'd like to hear which verses specifically state that you do NOT need to come together to be the church? I have provided verses indicating that's the church. Please interact with those. 


Their Response

 Dear lord... I'm done talking w/ you... You are intentionally attempting to manipulate the main point so you can have some sort of victory here. You sound like the overzealous Atheists who try so hard to discredit the word of God


Our Response

 The problem is that you haven't made your point clear. You complained that your girlfriend was at a church that shunned her for not wearing the right clothes. You then start on the point that we are the temple. 
 
 Thoughout your argument, you have failed to interact with the verses provided as evidence that the Bible clearly requires believers to regularly assemble to worship God. Extra Biblical sources were provided as evidence that this was the practice of the early church. 
 
 If you're done, that is your call, but I'm curious what your real point is? If it's that we're the temple, scripture clearly indicates that we are temples that are not made with hands (Acts 7:48). If you're furthering the point to say that because of this we do not need to attend church regularly, then you should interact with the verses previously provided that state we should. You should also provide verses that create counter evidence to the compulsion for church attendance. 


The final response from the other person was a series of ad hominem attacks. When a person attacks another person's character and personhood, it's a sign that they have no intelligible evidence to refute claims. Their last statement was an I'm done with this remark. I had hoped that this conversation would go further because I was legitimately interested in what the other party had to say. Alas, c'este la vie. 


The bottom line is that scripture supports that we must be connected to a church body as well as living sanctified lifestyles.  Both are important.