New Temple; Same Market. Pt. 1
I started this blog with the intent of writing a blog called “The Elephant in the Room” and talking about the events of Charlottesville, Virginia (and using the Republican Elephant as the main picture), but I have so many friends that are Republicans and great people that I thought it both wrong and irresponsible! Furthermore, the politics that has permeated our churches has become a silencer to the smoking gun called hatred! By now, I pray that all of you are tired of hearing our faith linked to political organizations who only use our principles to garner our votes! Again, the church of Jesus Christ is not a political party! It is a group of people who have walked away from a life of sin because of the Messiah King’s sacrifice, and have chosen to become disciples in a pursuit for righteousness.
Having said all of this, I come to the point of this blog. Many young people have left our churches not because of the message of Christ, but because of the foolishness of the messenger and the immaturity of the followers!
Christ came into the world and showed one act of aggressiveness. No, it wasn’t at a rally! It wasn’t with the tax collector! It wasn’t with the woman caught in adultery or with the man in the tombs! It wasn’t even with Peter who spoke incorrectly or when the disciples again displayed little faith! Not even when the disciples fell asleep while he prayed. He rolled up his sleeves, fashioned together a whip, and went to the alleged “house of prayer” and ran out all animals, people, threw all the coins on the ground and turned over every table! The leaders rebuked Him, asking who gave him authority, and standing on the 46 year existence of the temple.
From the depth of His core, He demanded, “..Stop turning my Fathers House in to a Market…”, which takes us to the Title of the Blog, “New Temple; Same Market! The Market Place Wins Again!”
Jesus walked into the temple a saw the drive of the leaders and managers to find the most profitable way to restore the relationship between God and Man. The took God’s law and wrote into it a way to eat, drink, live and drive the finest. They analyzed the bottom line, crunched the numbers, and like good stewards, figured a way to increase profit margin and in the the profit, increased there margin of spiritual error. The bottom line became the main focus, and thus Jesus took a moment from His busy schedule to refocus the flock!
With His own hands, He braided together chords and sought to bring about harmony with the church and the will of God. As His whip cut through the air, I imagine that each strike was precise, and the sound of His strike snapped with such power that it echoed throughout the country side. As animals scattered, He turned to those profiting and demanded that the doves be turned loose as well.
I was both angry and relieved by reading this passage. The passage list that the whip was used to run the animals out, but he left the servants that had turned it into the market. I thought to myself, that whip should have met a back not the ground. It should have cut a thigh and cheek, not just the air! But even in anger, He was poised and controlled. He displayed His disgust as a warning while knowing that in a short time, the source of revenue they had built would be torn apart.
Yep, today, I declare that many of our “Houses of Prayer” should cut down all vegetation on site and in the surrounding area! Christ would in many cases clean out the foolishness that has overcome some (NOT ALL) of our temples (churches). As I both read and discuss some of the rhetoric about the Global Church, actually, the “American Church”, we find all to often that reports about abuse and misuse surface. Though most of these stories, though some are true, do no apply to the majority of churches, it does apply to some. Without throwing a blanket over us all, it is important that each parishioner and reader know that the man of God, preacher, or pastor is human; we are not perfect. We make errors, and God deals with us, and in some cases, so does the pew.
Forgiveness should be in play in all cases, just as God chooses to forgive in all circumstances. Be it duly noted, that God says every man will be held accountable for his own actions. Having said this, Forgiveness is not turning a blind eye to evil or supporting it with silence. And Patience and Long Suffering is not watching another suffer at the hands of one who abuses and misuses power. Jesus could have walked by this temple and ignored the actions of those who were misrepresenting Him and abusing those who He had chosen, but He spoke up, and took action to bring about change.
I am convinced that everyone silently protesting and verbally protesting the church isn’t mature, unsaved or stuck in un-forgiveness.
I fear they tuned in, took positions and in the end, simply weren’t buying what we were selling! They packed and left! Some frustrated that the house of God is not the place they expected it to be. They remain baffled and the countless amount of Pastors and clergy men that remain silent when those who are less than are picked on and taken advantage of. They are confused as our churches ignore truth, and create a message that caters to top givers. They are saddened by those who sit in comfy chairs, have reserved parking, television and radio programs, blogs and podcast and chose to remain silent as evil occurs for fear of loosing membership and the worst, low approval ratings! They are wondering to themselves how someone can be responsible for their soul and not care for them as a person. They watch in disgust, and choose to watch from their couches, and shrivel away while they feed themselves, and starve from lack of nourishment.
In this day in age, not to reduce everything to buyers and sellers, but a great product can fail because of bad marketing and false advertisement! Our Bible describes the product, and gives a ingredients list. It even describes the mission and values of the church and how it should be run. Much of the criticism we face is not about doctrine, but its about mission and actions. If these are not attended too, the natural ebb and flow of the market will continue, and our houses of worship will be just like Blockbuster and Hostess!