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Damian Surin wrote:

Hi, guys —

Peace be with you.

  • As a humble servant, can you tell me why Christians don't take off their sandals when they walk into Church?

This is the most challenging part of your faith for me to understand. Please guide me with the Holy Spirit.

G-d said,

5 Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the G-d of your ancestors, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So Moses covered his face, because he was afraid to look at G-d.

Exodus 3:5-6

In the name of Jesus Christ, please correct my understanding. Amen.

Damian

  { Why don't Christians take off their sandals when they walk into the Church? }

John replied:

Hi, Damian —

Thanks for your question.

The Command given to Moses must be understood in terms of the Covenant being given to him.

Under the Mosaic Covenant, Christ had not yet died for our sins. Christ shed his blood for us that we might boldly go before the throne of grace, not based on our own righteousness, but based on His Righteousness which he gives to us.

Under the New Covenant, we (Christians) are all temples of the Holy Spirit. Hence, wherever we put our feet, in the name of Christ, becomes Holy Ground.

There are actually some ancient Liturgical Rites in which the Priest will take off his shoes before entering the Sanctuary of Church or the Church itself.

  • I believe Nestorian priests processed into the Church barefoot.
  • In the Armenian Apostolic Churches, the priests removes his shoes when approaching the altar (or so I've been told).

This is not out of necessity; it is a gesture that has a particular meaning in that particular liturgy.

We worship in Spirit and in Truth. Such rubrical matters are simply there for our edification.
They are non-essentials and therefore subject to change.

John

Mary Ann replied:

Damian —

The short answer is because now we are holy ground.

The Lord has deigned to come and dwell within us by Baptism.

Mary Ann

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