Church buildings and furniture - continued

Grand or simple?

Christians have different opinions on the religious significance of church buildings. For some, the building itself is very important because it is a place which has been set apart as the house of God and should be treated with great reverence and respect. Also, as a sign of devotion to God, the building should be produced with materials of good quality and finished to a high standard.

Other Christians believe that God is present in all places and that His presence in church should not be regarded as special or different from His presence in someone’s house. Therefore, it is not important for the building or the furnishings to be of expensive materials.

However, most Christians are likely to agree that:

  • The church is primarily a people rather than a building. In New Testament times there were no churches like we have today, so when the word ‘church’ is used in the Bible it always refers to people.
  • A church building is important because worship would be more difficult without it. As Christianity expanded, whole houses were set aside as meeting places and eventually it was possible to have purpose built buildings.