part of the what is truth? series

Where we worship God has often been debated through the years. Some hold to the idea that worship must occur in a cathedral — an often ornate structure dedicated to the worship of God. Others don’t take much stock in the structure at all, whether an official worship building or someone’s house.

Yet another dimension to this question gets layered on with the advancement of technology. “Virtual worship” is now possible and even quite prevalent for all sorts of reasons. Technically speaking, this medium would eliminate the need for any cathedral, building, or house.

Does where we worship God matter at all? Are we permitted to worship God anywhere? What does Scripture show us?

“You may worship God anywhere, at any time, but the chances are that you will not do so unless you have first learned to worship Him somewhere in some particular place, at some particular time.”

Theodore RooseveltTheodore Roosevelt

How Scripture answers "Does it matter where we worship God?"

Where we worship God matters.  Coming together at a specific location was a central factor in the Old Testament under the Mosaic Covenant3,4,5,6,7. So much so, that even when the nation was divided, some people still honored God’s desire to be worshipped His way and in His place7.

God had designated the tabernacle3 and later the temple7 as specific and required places of worship. They were marked by His very presence3,4,5. The people clearly understood this in Moses’ time3, David’s time6, and on through to the divided kingdom7 and into Jesus’ day in the first century1.

As Jesus ushers in a new covenant in the pages of the New Testament, He points to a time where worship location will no longer matter1, but God doesn’t change, and His presence will still mark the location – wherever two or more are gathered2. Paul affirms this spacial and relational aspect for worship activities8, not the least of which is to encourage each other and stimulate for good works9.

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