II Kings 21:5 records how the wicked King Manasseh “built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of YHWH.” Manasseh brought idolatrous worship right into God’s temple. In both the inner & outer courts, the scripture says, altars for false gods (in this case the hosts of heaven: sun, moon & stars) were set up. Looking from God’s perspective, if false gods were being worshipped in His house, in what sense was it HIS house any longer? Why bless it? Why protect it? It was no different than any of the idolatrous temples found anywhere in the world.
Perhaps we would do well to ask the same questions in our churches today?
We need to make certain that we do not find our own houses of worship in the same position as the compromised Temple in Manasseh’s day. If we continually bring in more worldly elements into our churches, so that the “worship” there is no different than what one might find in any other venue, then at what point does it cease really being HIS house of worship? Why should He bless activities and philosophies which are no different than the idolatrous, pagan vanities one might find in eastern religions, secular universities or night clubs?
In Manasseh’s day, God might well have asked, in what sense was it His house, when the worship there was not at all about Him. Hopefully He will not need to ask the same question of our houses of worship today.