The “Requirement” of Taking Off Shoes
There are two instances in Scripture where a person is instructed to remove his sandals or shoes in the presence of the angel of the LORD. The first was Moses at the burning bush (Ex. 3:2-5). In this context, we see first that Moses stood in the presence of the “angel of the LORD” in the burning bush (Ex. 3:2). The angel of the LORD instructed him to remove his shoes for the place where he stood was “holy ground” (3:5). The second time we see the “captain of the host of the LORD” (Josh. 5:14) telling Joshua to loose his shoes from his feet, for the place where he stood was “holy” (Josh. 5:15). It is interesting to note what made these places “holy.” Solomon told his wife that he would not allow her to live in the house of David because the “places are holy whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come” (2 Chr. 8:11). Ezekiel prophesied to
Today, Paul has described the church as the “
However, to further prove this point, let us look at more Scripture. Though they always followed the ark of the covenant throughout their wanderings in the wilderness, Scripture tells us the Israelites wore shoes during their wanderings (Deut. 29:5). Even more noteworthy, the Israelites were instructed to wear shoes while partaking of the first Passover, perhaps the most holy of Israelite meals instituted by God (Ex. 12:11). When you get to the New Testament, you do not see God instructing anyone to remove their shoes in like fashion as Moses or Joshua. Paul, in a very similar situation as what we read with Moses, was not instructed to remove his sandals while speaking with God (Acts 9:3-7). Jesus, who was always in the presence of God for He was God, wore sandals (Matt. 3:11, Mk. 1:7, Lk. 3:16, Acts 13:25). Even more noteworthy, on one account, Peter is instructed by the angel of the Lord to put his shoes on before they continued together (Acts 12:8-9).
Christians are not required to remove their physical shoes in any particular building of worship, though it is not wrong to do so. However, Christians are required to always have their feet covered in one sense; they ought to always have their “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15).