“Alter” means to change or revise. An “altar” is a place in which to worship a Holy unchanging God. Could it be that we need an altar, to facilitate altering ourselves?
Altars are going the way of “pet-rocks”; so is actually “altering” ourselves upon an encounter with God. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t “stages” for men and “altars” for God? Where do we worship these days? A lot of us worship at a huge church with an equally huge STAGE. But I thought stages were for men and bands? There is certainly no shortage of “man worship” these days; it’s called humanism.
There can be “staged events”,”stage left”,”stage right”, a “staged crime”, a “staging area” and one can even “stage” a home in preparation for sale. As far as I know, there is only one kind of altar, and *NEWSFLASH* there are four references to “altar” in the New Testament that are not referring back to the Old Testament. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice once and for all, so we no longer need to sacrifice food, oil, or animals on an altar anymore, but we do need to put ourselves on the altar. In other words, “alter” ourselves.
Now this is my opinion, so don’t send me a lot of hate mail. I’m a teacher, and a good teacher doesn’t GIVE you the dang answer, they make you work for it. You must find it yourself. They ask you questions or “prompts” that are supposed to pique the student’s curiosity so they will “dig in” and look for the answers themselves. It’s called the Socratic method. Have you read the Bible cover to cover so you even know what’s in there?
I was not raised in a Christian home which was pretty much an anomaly back then. My precious daddy became a Christian when I was a teenager, and at that point in time it just p*ssed me off. Years later when I became a Christian, I had to find my own church. The church I had been attending just never felt right to me; there was little reverence. God is not “my buddy”; God is God.
I mean seriously; shouldn’t we dress nicer to worship the living God than for the funeral of a dead person? Trust me, the person will never be the wiser as to how you’re dressed. Do we have to dress to the “nines” to attend church? Of course, not; but God looks at the heart. Do we attend church to clutch a styrofoam coffee cup of Starbuck’s coffee between our cargo-shorts-clad-thighs and be entertained by people on a stage?
Although we no longer need the blood sacrifice of old, we still need to sacrifice ourselves.