House of merchandise

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by The Scribe, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. The Scribe

    The Scribe
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    In the second chapter of John Jesus overturns the money changers tables.
    Jesus said He didn't want His Father's house turned into a house of merchandise.

    So, why do some people continue to sell items in the church?
    Especially for profit?

    John 2:13-16 (KJV)
    13: And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
    14: And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
    15: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
    16: And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
     
  2. donnA

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    You know thats something that bothers me also. i don't know if we're talking about the samething or not, but kids selling like candy bars and fruit as school fund raisers and doing it in church. Or better yet, people selling something like avon or something. Church yard sales or rummage sales.
    Is that what you mean?
     
  3. The Scribe

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    I mean anything that is sold in church: candy, books, and so on for any reason.

    Jesus said not to turn His Father's house into a house of merchandise.

    John 2:16 (KJV)
    And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
     
  4. David Lamb

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    The difference is surely this, that under the old covenant, God had said that a particular building, the temple, was was to be His "house". Although we talk loosely about "going to church", "painting the church", and so on, in the bible, the word "church" never, ever refers to a physical building. Some people talk about chapels (church buildings) as being "God's house", but Acts 7.48-50 says:
    "48 However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: 49 ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the LORD, Or what is the place of My rest? 50 Has My hand not made all these things?’"

    The New Testament equivalent of the temple is given in 1 Corinthians 3.16-17:

    16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

    I don't know the situation in the U.S., but here, a growing number of churches do not have their own chapel buildings, but meet in a school, community centre, or other hired premises. Such buildings are used for all sorts of purposes, not just for church services. Some of those non-church activities may be unbiblical, and may involve selling, buying, even gambling. But those things are not happening in "the church", for the church is people, not a building.

    I also wonder if the fact that trading in the temple was so worthwhile to those who engaged in it because the people generally had got out of the habit of preparing for temple worship, and arrived at the temple building still not having acquired the necessary animal(s) for sacrifice.
     
    #4 David Lamb, Jan 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2008
  5. John of Japan

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    David Lamb has pointed out the NT truth here. Jesus was saying you must not sell things in the Temple of God. However, a modern "church building" is not the Temple of God, not the "Father's house" that Jesus was talking about. The temple is now the believers, not a building.

    So I guess if I put some things on sale inside my body, that would be wrong...right? :smilewinkgrin:

    I see nothing whatever wrong with a book table in the lobby of a church building selling good books for Christians through which to grow in grace and get excited about serving God. :type:
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Our church meets in a GAA hall. There is a bar downstairs, which is at times open while we have a service. We don't have our own property.

    Should we move?
     
  7. James Flagg

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    You mean should you move downstairs?
     
  8. John of Japan

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    If you move, Roger, wouldn't it be inconvenient for church folk who want to fellowship downstairs after the service? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Very funny guys :)
     
  10. StefanM

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    That would be some definitely spirit(s)-filled fellowship!
     
  11. tinytim

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    Kidneys for sale... Kidneys for sale!!

    Act now, and he will throw in a lung!
     
  12. annsni

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    Our church has a Christian bookstore and we do sell tapes and CDs of messages and such. I've always seen tapes and CDs sold at churches and I know that we charge just the cost of the materials and adding in a little bit more to be able to purchase the duplicating equipment. But then I also know we certainly don't make money on the CDs because we send so many of them out to our missionaries, those who are away from us and request them and such. I think that's a great service.

    I was a little sketchy about the bookstore and I spoke to our pastor about it. He told me that his goal in having it was to be able to get good Christian books into the hands of those in the community. The next closest Christian bookstore to us is about an hour away so I know we're definitely providing a service. Also, we are not looking to make a profit at all but for the bookstore to just be able to support itself (pay for the utilities, the one staff person, and to be able to replenish stock). Anything that we DO make that goes over the cost of running it goes into missions - and even a separate account than the church's general fund. Pastor has also used them to be the place that orders books to be able to give away, which he often does. If there's a book that he finds that's just amazing, he'll order it and tell everyone after he speaks of it in the service that the book is available for all to take because he feels it's a must-have. :)

    So I know that there are differing opinions on this but the fact that it's not for profit and it really does provide something that our community does not have, I think it's OK. OH - it's also cheaper to house it in our own building than to have to find another store-front for it.
     
  13. Aaron

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    Where Christ is in the midst of two or more that have come together to worship, one also bringing his sales items is at best, indecent.
     
  14. Jkdbuck76

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    Sounds like Tim Wilson's song "First Baptist Bar & Grill".

    Merchandise....what is the Greek word?

    Can someone with better Greek-Fu help us out on this one?
     
  15. The Scribe

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    Hebrew
    MOCHAR (MAH-KHAR means a merchant in Genesis 37:36, speaking of Joseph in Egypt:
    Gen 37:36 And the Midianites SOLD him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.
    From this original Hebrew word we have our modern words Commerce, market, mart, mercantile, mercenary, merchandise, mercer, merchant, mercury, and mercy.

    Greek
    The word translated merchandise is the Greek word emporion {em-por’-ee-on}.

    House of Merchandise by Steve Lumbley « Spiritual Pathways Ministries Library- Jan 15: Holiness of God
     
  16. I Am Blessed 24

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    We have a book table in the back of the sanctuary when visiting Preachers come and have something to sell.

    We also sell tapes and CD's, but not in the sanctuary.

    The candy bar sales, etc. for school trips and such are not sold at the church, but at the entrance to Wal-Mart and other stores.
     
  17. MNJacob

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    Let me go in a bit of a different direction for you folks here. The real question, in my opinion is, to whom was Jesus addressing this statement, and why?

    There is no question that He was addressing the immediate employees of the temple who were engaging in usurious moneychanging, sacrifice exchanging and supply activities. But, I believe that He was also directing this statement specifically the higher ups who were receiving a cut of these operations, at those charged with administering and overseeing daily temple operations. I am talking specifically about the High Priest and his minions.

    What had they done to the temple? They had taken its primary purpose from facilitating the worship of the Most High to extorting money for thier own purposes. That is what I believe Jesus was addressing, the specific sins of greed and theft by the High Priest. They had no problem with Him while He helped their business grow. And His ministry would have increased the sense of conventional religiosity in the local population. But once He interrupted the cash flow. They had to take care of 'bidness.

    That may be the real reason why they had Him killed. He interupted their business during the high season. Much like a priestly mafioso.

    Do you see any similarities for today? Does this remind you of some prominent media ministries, who constantly demand funds that appear to be for thier own use.

    That's my take anyway.
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Hey, slow down--just one kidney for sale! I hear that it's a struggle with no kidneys! :eek:
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Hmm. Interesting thoughts. :cool:
     
  20. messagetotheplain

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    I once heard a sermon in a Church of my sister who was saying he beleived Jesus was upset not at them selling so much in the temple but the money changers were making themself rich by this practise. They were taking advanage of people coming to worship God. Kind of like we told people we would pray for them if the gave us $5. He also said that these money changers set up in the temple courts and made this place crowded. This is where non-jews had to worship as they were not allowed inside the temple. Imagine coming to worship God and the seen was like the florr of the new York Stock Exchange. It was interesting and made me think a little about what really God Jesus upset.

    I work with a mission organization that does Church presentation on their mission organization that reaches Amish people across America with the gospel of Jesus. They sell Amish recipe cook books with all profits used to fund mailings into Amish homes. $39,511 in in 2007 say 149 letters of testimony from Amish stating accepting Jesus from those mailed bible studies. Do you think our Lord is against this? I would question selling of good that do not profit God's Kingdom but even a church book store owned by the church profits the church. Which God owns just like he own me.

    Just my thoughts
     

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