Solomons Temple and the Modern Church

This is a guest post from our friend Thomas Loving (aka @DreadedRafifi). Thomas has a fantastic blog where he tends to pick apart obscure bits of scripture in a fantastic way.


Have you ever taken the time to read about the temple Solomon built for God? David spent the latter part of his life hoarding treasure and materials for the construction of the temple and Solomon took a little over seven years building it. To say the least, it was huge and amazing (you can read a full account here 1 Kings 6 – 7).

It was about 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. The inside of the temples walls were overlaid with gold. To light the inside he hung cross sections of gold chains that held golden oil lamps. Standing in the center of the temple, just before the inner chambers where the Ark of the Covenant rested, were two carved images of Cherubim (angels) standing 15 feet tall. Their wings were 15 feet wide each touching one wall with the inner wings touching each other. They too were overlaid with Gold.

The descriptions of the temple and its furnishings are both beautiful and detailed. They conjure images of holiness, beauty and a lavish grandeur the likes of which we may never see again in the world.

The imagery the artists used are such a contrast to today’s modern churches that sometimes don’t have any art or even a cross hung in their place of worship. Not that this modern style is a bad thing, but as a designer I can’t help but imagine the modern church as a blank canvas compared to Solomon’s temple. It’s almost as if the church is waiting for its artists and creators to wake them up to the beauty of God’s love.

We are made in the image of God and our God is a creator. We create because He first did. Sometimes I feel that the modern church has forgotten this aspect of God. But you and I-the designers, artists, musicians, writers, creators-we haven’t forgotten. How can we convince the church to not only make room for but also to encourage more art? Have you built any golden Cherubim lately? Think it’s time to try?

– DreadedRafifi

2 thoughts on “Solomons Temple and the Modern Church

  1. James,
    I agree that many of our churches lack adornment like those of centuries past; and I would conclude that the lack of adornment comes from two perfectly justifiable reasons. First: many churches in America today, especially rural churches, where founded by people who could barely afford the building, much less decorate them. Second: There is a perfectly rational refraining from lavishly decorating the church, because of the pitfall of worshiping the images and decorations in the church instead of worshiping God.
    Granted, if we put our money where our heart is, the churches couldn’t help but look lavish.

  2. James,

    I totally agree with you! Its something I’ve been thinking about recently – and creating art to communicate the creator’s nature within church buildings isnt something that can even cost that much…i wonder what a modern day Solomon’s temple would look like?

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