Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.Believe it or not the above verse isn't talking about smoking, drinking, or chewing (or hanging with those that are doing, hehe). It is talking about building up God's building, God's garden; the assembly of believers which is God's chosen temple in which to dwell. You destroy the assembly, God destroys you...any questions?
(1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV)
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 ESV)I find it telling that the apostle puts divisions in the same list as sorcery, drunkenness, and orgies yet we think it is perfectly acceptable to have a seperate church for every tribe, tongue, denomination, and confession up and down main street, USA. If our doctrinal differences and our confessional divides leading to denominations are what Paul is calling rivalries, dissensions, divisions, enmity, and strife then our church buildings would be no worse with a hash bar in the vestibule, a dancing pole instead of a pulpit, and a community bath in the baptismal. Division is just as evil.
Now if you that that is sacrilegious speech and it brings up emotions in you because you want to defend your precious building then my response is to think of how God's wrath burns against those who divide his family into these denominational battlegrounds. If I intend to divide anything it is to divide God's temple (the ekklesia or assembly) from the idols we call church buildings that we have built to keep us apart. May all of God's children come out of the buildings, denominations, and divisions and come together as one unified body. If your building is an idol for you, you are pretty hot with me right now for attacking it. If the building you meet in is not an idol for you then you probably think I should have been less, shall we say, abrasive. Maybe so, yet I still pray that God will take the seed I stomp into the ground and have it bear fruit because I love my brothers and sisters and I hate the divisions.
Remember it is all about Jesus Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:14-15; Ephesians 2:16-22 ESV)