Contrasting different attitudes about (1) salvation, (2)Heaven, (3) the coming of the Messiah, and (4) how to prepare for this event. These have been put forth to contrast the Hebrew mindset with the Christian mindset.
Cathedral Mentality: The goal of salvation is to escape this world and go to God’s dwelling place in heaven
Temple Mentality:The goal of salvation is to prepare a place fit for God’s dwelling here, among His people
Cathedral Mentality: The kingdom of Heaven exists in heaven, not upon the earth
Temple Mentality: The kingdom of Heaven is God’s reign among people here upon the earth
Cathedral Mentality: The Messiah is coming in order to take us away from this world
Temple Mentality: The Messiah is coming in order to reign over us in this world
Cathedral Mentality: “Get your ticket now or you might miss the train”
Temple Mentality: the Kingdom of Heaven is coming! Get ready to receive and serve the King.
I can surmise that just about everybody in this forum subscribes to the Cathedral Mentality.
Was it not Abraham who was a pilgrim here on earth ? Actually a bit skewed. We will reign with him in the new Jerusalem in the new world. The train is ok for their is a judgement train when we die. Even this earth will melt. And yes the kingdom is more than coming it is now and we wrestle now. The goal of salvation is to glorify god run the race that is set before us,here and now. We are to be light now, salt now in this world. The only thing we are to escape is the wrath coming to this world. Yes we are to be kingdom people now and here,regaining our lost dominion. It is not either or but both on some of your dichotomies.
The popular story is that we must be saved from our original sin, otherwise we won’t make it to Heaven. Also, the Kingdom of God is not of this world, but in Heaven. And get saved soon because the train may be leaving any day.
Don’t these issues weigh heavily on the minds of the average Christian?
They do. But you’re missing the point - and you’re misinterpreting some things.
It is true that God made us for Him in Heaven. It is true that the kingdom of Heaven proper is not in the natural universe. But it is not true Jesus came to ‘take us away from all this’ nor that we’re trying to ‘be saved’ so we can get the hell out of here.
Have you ever heard of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Gauss? It enumerates what we Catholics believe, and you deserve to know what we believe before you try to argue against it.
God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.
Emphasis mine. The short version is this, from the Baltimore Catechism:
Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.
Very short version: we are to be God’s children, and to reap the rewards of being obedient children.
The Christian’s goal is not to escape the physical “world”. The “world” that Christians escape is the entire system in place in our world that sets itself in opposition to God’s rule and reign. This is that system that says that good is evil and evil is good. As believers, we have been plucked out of this system and become ambassadors for the Kingdom of God. Therefore, the Church anticipates the full consummation of the Kingdom.
This simply muddles things up. God will not simply take those who love him to some Heaven that exists apart from Earth.
The Bible speaks of “The New Heavens and the New Earth.” God’s plan is nothing short of the creation of a new Earth and a new Jerusalem where he will rule and reign with his people. In that new Jerusalem, there will be a tree whose leaves, it is written, are “for the healing of the nations” (Revelations 22:2).
Christians should have both mindsets. Jesus came to take us out of the “world”, that is to free us from a world system that opposes the Kingdom. He will also come again to reign over the new Earth at the new Jerusalem.
Well, once again you are making false dichotomies. Judgment is coming, but people don’t need tickets to get away from it. They need to know Jesus Christ.
Once again you are making false dichotomies. Christians live in the “Now not Yet”. We have not arrived at the full consummation of the Kingdom, but even now the Kingdom is here in the midst of those who love Jesus.
Furthermore, Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit. Dottie Rambo sang “When His Kingdom Comes” which was not about Christ’s Second Coming but about Christ’s coming into the heart of the believer:
Oh that I might be
His perfect dwelling place
Oh that my King
Would fill up the empty space
Then flood every room every part
Sanctify this temple
Then build His throne in my heart
When His kingdom comes
What a difference
When things are in earth
As they are in heaven
When all has been settled
And my heart is His throne
Oh what a difference
When His kingdom comes
There’s a false dichotomy going on here, and we can’t defend the strawmen. I’m not sure who is responsible for the either/or argument, but it’s foreign to Christianity. Christianity is both Heaven-focused and earth-focused. As our God told us when he came to earth; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus makes it quite clear that we are both in this world and looking toward Heaven.
For Lutherans, we’re even commanded to do good on earth (I suppose your “Temple” viewpoint?) because we have been assured of Heaven (your “Cathedral” viewpoint?). In Lutheran thought, this is called the Third Use of the Law - simply put, we are freed to do good here and now.
Not so for me. If the Kingdom of God is ever to be a Present Reality in this world we must then live in this world by those precepts of the Kingdom.
If Christ is ever to return we must make tis world a fit habitation for our God…" Make straight the crooked paths…"
The Kingdom of God IS Present within each of us…it is not necessarily some far off event but it’s Seeds must be planted Now in this world for it to Grow.
As one Friend relayed the story of a gathering of.believers that began talking about heaven. One woman stated when she got to heaven she was going to play the piano…the Friend asked…" Do you play now?" The woman responded " Well no". The Friend said…"!if you want to play the piano in heaven , you should start your lessons NOW"
Heaven, hell, purgatory, the life we live now are states of being.
The temple is now fulfilled by Christ physically present on the altar and tabernacle.
We do not see heaven as a place to purchase a ticket.
When we receive the Word and Eucharist, the Tree of Life the Church, and attend Mass, we are already in a degree of heaven, provided we are not in serious sin. So living out our lives in the Eucharist, we already living in the Eternal Moment, life a life long conversion to living a more divine life.
The most divine thing we can do on this earth is to forgive because it amends our lives and heals us both spiritually and physically.
People who totally die to this life and to sin, are living saints and for them, physical death will only be a door to heaven. You pray continually, death will be natural and hold no trauma.
Yes, the Church is the fulfillment of the Tree of Life found in Genesis, and Christ is the Fruit we now can eat.
Thank you for the thoughtful "provocation’’. A good exercise to review one’s motivation. I just wanted to add that I am sure some folks do subscribe to such sentiments or have in the past. Just as Judaism has variations in maturity and mindset so does Christianity. Don’t think it is mainstream however. Probably the only skewed comment was your last one surmising our Cathedral subscription, that is for most folks on this forum.
Actually, the cathedral is the bishop’s physical church, and this church is the mother church of all parishes.
I remember a young man a few years ago talking about how he has renounced religion and is seeking true relationship with God, etc., and did refer to cathedrals as somehow implying they are worthless shells.
Of course, we do not, but see them as the seat of our bishop, successor to the apostles, as well as also sacred space where Our Lord remains among us.
where The Lord remains among us is that reference to the Eucharist remaining ? Otherwise I would agree,a glorious place to congregate and He is there when two or more are gathered. The former sounds very OT where the temple contained the holy of holies and the ark representing his presence. The holy of holies has been done away with,the curtain was torn in two, and we are that new temple,individually and corporately.
Yes. Every Catholic church (from a local parish church to the greatest Cathedral, like St. Peter’s in Rome) has a Tabernacle containing the Holy Eucharist (the consecrated bread). That Tabernacle is the Catholic “Holy of Holies”, where Jesus is actually present in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. He remains there 24/7/365. All Catholics (and anyone else) can go and kneel in front of the Tabernacle to pray and be 100% sure that Jesus is physically there with them. It’s an awesome feeling.