The Sanctuary isn’t a building, but the people that gather to worship. In the Old Testament the Sanctuary (or Holy Place) was constructed with skins and fabric and later with stone. It was that place where God would meet his people. It wasn’t like a bird sanctuary or a retirement community; it wasn’t what we would call “safe.” God isn’t safe, but He’s always good. Or maybe we should say that “safe” isn’t safe. We all hide in a prison of our own construction. God is not safe for that prison—the prison we call our “self,” our “pride,” or our “ego.” Not safe, yet nothing could be more safe, freeing and healthy for the person that you truly are, than communion with God. What I’m trying to say is that the Sanctuary in the Old Testament was a place of profound mystery, wonder and even terror. It was a place where the fire of God would consume evil and reveal the good.
In the New Testament at the death of Jesus, the Sanctuary is miraculously opened as the curtain separating the people from the Most Holy Place is ripped from top to bottom. Fifty days later on Pentecost, the Spirit of God falls as tongues of fire upon a frightened ragtag group of disciples, who begin to praise God in ecstatic joy. They are the Sanctuary. And Scripture tells us that we are the Sanctuary. And so we’ve named our little church The Sanctuary.
We invite you to worship with us, as you do, we pray that you would feel free to surrender yourself—fears, doubts, insecurities, failures, even “successes”—your judgments of yourself that create a prison for your spirit. We hope that you would surrender your judgments to God’s judgment in Christ Jesus. “God was in Jesus reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5-19). You are worth the shed blood and broken body of God in flesh, Jesus the Christ. That is God’s judgment. It is eternal. It is Love. It is fire that burns away our pride and fills us with the Spirit of God, who is relentless and undefeatable Love.
If you doubt all the stuff you just read, including God, please feel free to ask questions, disagree, and seek the truth. We believe that Jesus is “The Truth,” not just true, but “The Truth.” That means that you can’t go wrong by seeking the truth. We believe that if you seek the truth, you are already being found by the Truth, who is always seeking you.
Who We Hope We Are (and some of our values)
A Group of People in Love with Jesus:
Jesus defines us. He is our groom and we are His bride, His body, His city, His temple, His sanctuary.
Jesus is our vision and worship is our strategy.
Surrendered to Jesus in worship, He tells us who we are, fills us with Himself and fills us with His life. We are called to live His life as His body in this world, His living temple; His sanctuary.
A Group of People Called to Proclaim the Victory of God in Christ Jesus
Jesus is God’s Grace in human flesh. At the intersection of time and eternity Jesus bore our sin, sorrow, and shame upon a Roman cross. There He descended into Hell to exhibit the depths of His love for all, redeem us with His Blood, and romance us to Himself. He “makes all things New” (Rev. 21:5).
A Real Church in this Unreal World
Jesus is the Truth. His Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. We cannot arrive at the Truth without being Truthful. We don’t want to play church but be the real church. We’re like the stinky manger in which the Christ child is placed. When we’re honest about the mess, we can be honest about God’s Grace. We are the place in which the Christ is born.
A Place to Wrestle the Word
We want to be a biblical church. We believe The Scriptures to be “authoritative on all matters to which they speak.” Jesus is The Word, who inhabits the written word, and uses that word to wrestle the lies from our hearts and His truth—Himself—into our hearts. (see Genesis 32:22-32).
A Church Without Walls
The Good News is not bound by human walls. We do not want to be defined by terms like conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat. We want to avoid denominational walls, walls created by movements and fads, racial walls, socio-economic walls, relational walls and even physical walls. The Sanctuary is NOT a building. “‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls… And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within’” (Zech. 2:4-5).
A Church Within the Church, Containing Many Churches
The Sanctuary is a small part of the Church Universal and within the Sanctuary there are many churches—a church is two or three gathered in His name. We hope that all who call themselves the Sanctuary would be in vulnerable and grace-filled relationships with other believers. For this reason we facilitate a variety of groups, and small groups (life groups) in particular.
“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven [yeast in bread] that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened” (Matt. 13:33). We don’t know if the Sanctuary will ever be big, but we do believe that we’re called to have a big influence. We believe that we’re called to represent these under-represented truths:
- God is Love, and so desires to save.
- God is Almighty, and so can save.
- God is Jesus, and so does save.
We want to proclaim these truths to the world and to the Church at large—a Church that has often believed that God’s Love in Christ Jesus is insufficient for the redemption of all. We feel called to preach from this perspective and make this message available through the internet and any other means that would spread the leaven of the kingdom—we’d like to go viral and infiltrate the world with unquenchable Grace.