I must admit, preachers confuse me with some of their inconsistencies. And its not the Bible's fault, just their use of it. Allow me to explain.
Church. Is it the building or the believers? The "house of God." Is the building our our body? I'm confused. Not because of what the Bible says, but because of how preachers use it. When preachers get mad at a groups religiousity, we say "the church is not the building, its the people that are the church. We don't go to church, we are the church." Then when we talk about honoring God with our bodies (sexual purity, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, etc.) preachers use 1st Corinthians 6 and say "your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." Which is all true, can't read New Testament scripture and disagree with that one bit. But when people aren't showing up to church and attendance is decreasing, the first thing preachers say is "You need to be in the house of the Lord." They pull out Psalms and quote "I was glad when they said let us go in to the house of the Lord." When volunteerism is low and we need new ushers, preachers pull out the words of David and say "if I could just be a door keeper in the house of God." And when there is a building fund, many pastors start talking about donating "to build God's house." They pull out scriptures about Solomon and other Old Testament people to drive the point home. Isn't that contradictory? Isn't that manipulative?
Are the latter comments taken staight from scripture? Sure. But let's contextualize them a bit. In the OT, God's presence and place of dwelling among men was in the temple. In the NT, His presence and place of dwelling among men is IN men (for those who accept Christ). So if God no longer dwells in buildings of bricks made by the hands of men, but now lives in "living stones", why do we continue to reference a time when God lived in the temple? Sure David was glad when they said let's go into the house of the Lord, but that was before God's house was on every corner. Is the local church important? ABSOLUTELY - WITHOUT QUESTION! Is it necessary? ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT QUESTION! Is the local church God's house? ABSOLUTELY NOT! If so, the people who live in places that the church is persecuted in NEVER experience God's house because it can't legally exist. I guess you'd have to be American or European to experience God's presence, huh?
Then I have to ask, is this an error based on neglegence, ignorance or manipulation? I believe it depends on the pastor. Some pastors have NO Bible literacy and could use a basic course on hermaneutics. Others don't think out what they want to say, they just say it. While others knowingly manipulate people to get what they want. Unfortunately, all 3 are dangerous for the people who are listening.
So preachers, please be consistent in your use of the Bible. Stop sending mixed messages to the flock and genuinely consider your words before you say them. You're job is make matters of spiritualiity clearer not more confusing.