Taken from, Sermons and Addresses
Written by John A. Broadus.
God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
How should we worship God?
My friends, under the Christian system you cannot make holy places; you cannot make a holy house.
We speak very naturally and properly enough, if with due limitation, in the language of the Old Testament, about our places of worship, but we ought to remember constantly the limitations. You cannot consecrate a building in the light of Christianity. You can dedicate the building; you can set it apart to be used only for the worship of God; but you cannot make the house a holy house; it is an idea foreign to the intense spirituality which Jesus has taught us belongs to the Christian idea of worship.
Why, then, one might say, why should we have houses of worship? not merely because if there is to be the worship of assemblies at all, with all the strange power that sympathy gives to aggregated worship, then there must be places of assembly; but because these soon become associated with the solemn worship we hold in them and sacred by their associations, and if we do not disturb those associations, if from the places where we are wont to hold solemn worship, we keep carefully away all that tends to violate those associations, they grow in power upon us ; they do not make the place holy, but they make it easier by force of association and of beneficent habit for us to have holy thoughts and to pay holy worship in the place where we have often paid it before. So we can see why it is fit to set apart places of worship, houses of worship for God, though they be not in themselves holy, though spiritual worship is independent of locality.
Let us rise to a broader view of the matter. Spiritual worship must subordinate all these externals.
Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage: John Albert Broadus (1827–1895) was an American Baptist pastor and professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the most famous preachers of his day. Charles Spurgeon deemed Broadus the “greatest of living preachers.” Church historian Albert Henry Newman later said “perhaps the greatest man the Baptists have produced.”