The church is the temple of God, where devoted Christians and those who believe in God often worship, besides the church serves many purposes, by playing significant role in the society. Even though not everyone believes in the existence of God, the church has transformed and changed millions to lead decent and respectful lives in the society.
I quite understand when Jesus couldn’t control his anger when he entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, because his father’s house of worship has become a den of thieves and gamblers. Matthew 21:12. Jesus did that because the temple must be kept holy and not a place for undesired purposes.
Looking for a place to worship at any where I visit is one of my priorities, because it is not only the body which needs food but the spirit as well. My desire to worship God has led me to worship with different churches, including the Jehovah witness and the Mormons, even though I am not a member of any of the religious groups. The Buddhist, Monks and those following Yoga activities would explain the reason one needs spiritual food, sometimes leading many to find a quiet place to read where you will not be interrupted or distracted.
Churches in Europe have the best architectural designs and interior decorations, but many times they are completely empty. One only sees people in the church when there is marriage or the coffin of the dead to receive his or her last prayers, despite the countless roles of the church in the community. Unfortunately, as if the church is now meaningless and serves no purpose, they are being used for something other than worship.
In Hungary sold deconsecrated church now serves as a night and stripping club, while others are been demolished. In the Netherlands, architects recently turned a former Dominican church in Maastricht into a bookshop, with a reading area and café in the apse. England is a country battling with issues such as teenage pregnancy, crime, teenage smoking, alcoholism and other social problems, yet it is the leading country in Europe transforming churches to drinking pubs and bars, completely denying the church’s role in the society.
In the past the British government has inflated the prices of alcohol to lower consumption among youth, but this hasn’t been successful. There are many alcohol related problems, including vehicle crashes and other injuries. In regard to the rapid decay of the society, the conversion of churches to drinking bars must come to an end. Alcohol is taking its toll on youth, it therefore necessary to increase public awareness about the harmful effects of underage drinking.
Photo: Church converted to drinking pub in the UK.
Churches, as one of the most common and least used building types in the country, are an appropriate place to ask the question. There are two experiences I had this year of churches being used for something other than worship that were memorable in the ways they approached the non-Christian use of Christian buildings. One was in Nottingham, the other in Krakow.