November 5, 2018
John 2:16… And He told those who sold pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
Since the beginning of the church, this command has been ignored or compromised. Some denominations saved their best seats for those who paid the most money to the church. That was a form of trade. When I was about 35 years old, I started a job in real estate. My broker, my boss, knew I went to church and asked me which one. I told him and he knew it was large and told me to farm the congregation. He called them my family, and told me to sell homes for, and to, my family. I did not pursue it actively, but I was aware who needed a realtor. I didn’t feel good about it so I avoided it, and I did not stay in Real Estate. It is possibly more subtle now. I talked to a woman a few years ago who told me that one particular church was more entertaining than others, so that is where she attended with her teenage children. They had the best show in town. And that seems to be the direction churches have gone. ‘Butts in seats’ is what pays bills, and shows put butts in seats.
I used to not care until one day, the Lord told me that churches were trying to compete with the world on the world’s terms. In the world, music concerts have added pyrotechnics and dancing to concerts and people come. Some churches have smoke machines and light shows to wow the people. I must say here that I am not to judge so I don’t judge the churches that have more expressive worship; I don’t know their hearts. But, I have experienced situations when the show took away my desire to worship purely. It did not enhance my worship experience; it messed with it. But, I feel like I am on thin ice here, so I will quit with this; but just be cautious to not turn the church into a house of trade.
‘My house shall be called a ‘House of Prayer’.” (Matthew 21:13)
I talked with a man about prayer recently, and I expressed my frustrations with it… so many seem unanswered. After our conversation, I realized that prayer is in God’s arena. It is necessarily Spiritual. Who am I to say how things are to go in the Spirit? Don’t reduce things of the Spirit to worldly measurements.