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Two Sheep And A Large Coffee Please

How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market! ~ Jesus Christ, John 2:16

I have never seen a market in a Catholic church. But I’ve certainly seen a market in an Evangelical church, where congregants buy coffee, pastries, books, and DVDs. Why is this okay? It blatantly contradicts the sentiment of Jesus himself in John 2:16, where he is furious that people are conducting business transactions in the Temple.

In the temple courts he [Jesus] found men selling cattle, sheep and doves… he said… How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”

~ John 2:14-16

Two Sheep And A Large Coffee Please

In the Jewish Temple, people were selling “cattle, sheep and doves” for use in religious ceremonies. In some Evangelical churches, people sell coffee, food, books, and DVDs to be used in religious ceremonies– coffee keeps people awake during the service (a ceremony); food provides energy during this ceremony; books and DVDs provide information during private devotion ceremonies; food and coffee provide a reason for congregants to hang around and “fellowship” (another ceremony) after service.

Sheep & Coffee

Left image source: Wikipedia. Right image source: Time Magazine.

The irony is that the Evangelical I attended (the one with the market) was quick to point out what it considered to be Catholicism’s violations of Biblical principles. Looking back, I don’t believe this Evangelical church was right about a single supposedly unbiblical characteristic it pointed out about Catholicism. But worse, it was violating the one principle that made Jesus more angry than any other- having a market in a house of worship. 

I know that the congregants and pastors of that church are Jesus-loving and Jesus-devoted people, good people who are the salt of the earth and the very life breath of America. But I respectfully suggest that Evangelicals turn their critical eye inward. I believe that many Evangelicals are so busy looking for Catholic splinters, that they cannot see the planks in Evangelical eyes. 

The Bible is always proven true.

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