Bill Button, father of six and grandfather of more than twenty, is currently 82 years young. He’s been a school teacher, product designer and lifelong thinker and philosopher. Now Bill enjoys writing down his thoughts and advice for young people.
A temple is a place dedicated to the worship of a deity. The Bible refers to the temple in Jerusalem as the house of God, the central place of worship for the Jewish faith. It was there that Jesus entered and drove out the money changers and merchants who sold animals to be sacrificed as offerings to God. (Mt. 21:12-13) Jesus made it clear that God does not want physical offerings. He wants a broken and contrite heart in the worshipper. (Lk. 18: 9-14). Jesus came to free us from the rules and regulations of the law, to live according to God’s spirit of love. He brought a new covenant with God – the covenant of love for God and for all of our fellow human beings.
God's Creation is a Temple
In addition, God’s whole creation with its orderly natural processes and forms is truly his house, his temple. We don’t need an actual building to worship God, as his temple is present in all he has created. Think of life forms from a microbe to an ant, a dog, a human, an elephant, a whale. Think of the simple algae and moss, and the giant redwood tree. Life itself is a miracle! Do we show reverence and thankfulness for God and his creation that gives us life? Are we good stewards of the resources of this life-giving planet? Some churches recognize this need and practice “Creation Care.” This means caring for all of God’s creation by working to stop things that are harmful such as pollution of the water and air, or activities that endanger living beings of all kinds. Worshiping God and caring for what He has created is all part of loving God.
In this industrial age many people have lost their conscious connection to the natural order and processes of life. This can be seen in the present disintegration of marriage, family, and social values. This lack of connection can also be seen in the degradation of the natural environment we depend on for life. Our politics and government sadly reflect this individualistic greed and arrogance as well. As followers of Jesus we must work for sustainable economies that show God’s order and help all human beings to flourish, as well as plants and animals – yes, our entire planet. When people live in poverty, they often deplete or destroy the natural resources around them simply in order to survive. That is why it is imperative to develop economic policies which give fairly to all without using up creation’s great riches. We need to repent for our selfish, short-sighted “merchant and money changer” spirit. We must change before this spirit destroys our society and the life-giving environment on planet earth.
Our Bodies as Temples
Another temple that we must care for is the human body, which is also a house or temple of the spirit. (1 Cor. 3: 16-19.) The important question is, “What spirit rules in your body?” Is it the good spirit of love and service to others, or is it the evil spirit of greed and selfishness? Jesus has told us we must change our values, our way of life, to preserve and protect the temple of God in our bodies. God gave us minds to discover and understand the natural processes of his creation. Now scientific evidence and reasoning also tells us we need to change our way of living, in order to protect and preserve God’s temple, this wonderful planet we live on.
There are almost seven billion people on this planet, and there is room, food, and shelter enough for all of us if we care and share, if we love and serve others, if we preserve and protect God’s temples in his creation and in our bodies. We must nurture and enhance God’s temples to protect them for the future generations to come. Time is running out!