The Gospels record Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a donkey just as the prophets said would happen. But then after His entry He ties a whip together and drives out the money changers from the temple. The temple at the time was representative of everything of the Jewish faith. The priests performed the sacrifices and duties as given in the old testament and in the inner sanctuary was where the presence of the Lord was to be sitting on the Ark of the Covenant. It was a holy and precious place to be respected in the highest. But here the nation, the priests, the people from all the tribes had allowed money changers to come in to make it easy to exchange currency from whichever part of the earth they had traveled from to fulfill their religious duties. There is no doubt these money changers were making a decent living to continue the practice. I’m quite certain by educated assumption that the temple priesthood was also benefiting from their presence. For no space is filled by a vendor for free where the “land lord” allows them to set up. But now here is our Christ in the midst of them, overturning their tables and driving them out. Was He not making a statement of jealousy and contempt for what greedy men had turned His Father’s house into? Here’s a good spot to insert the verses I have been referring.
12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”(Mat 11:12-13)
15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city.(Mark 11:15-19)
13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” (John 2:13-17)
This story of the moneychangers is recorded in 3 of the 4 Gospels. I am certain that our Lord wanted this Truth to be seen and recognized at it’s seriousness not to profane the Lord’s name through greediness for gain. It is also a sign of a lack of faith. Yet 2000 years later we find what is called the body of christ , according to mainstream christianity, practicing a more crafty and slick business. Though the nature of its practice today is quite different. The one thing that remains common is that someone benefits monetarily.
Everything we see in mainstream institutional church is built upon a business model. It begins with the preaching of the tithe as a means to support the institution and ends with the reinforced power of the pastor to rule over the assembly. How can I make this claim? Easy, who in the church earns a salary or wage? Certainly the pastor. But also some churches hire secretaries, music leaders and other positions in some cases. So also in some cases these people are fired from their position. Does this sound like faith or being led by the Holy Spirit?
Please show me where in the Gospels Jesus is shown to have made or given instructions regarding a business plan or structure. Where in the Gospels has any other apostle laid down instructions for the assembly to follow a worldly business model? I have read the New Testament many times and have no such knowledge. But I am open if you can show clearly how this structure might be laid out in Scripture. What I have seen and been taught is that our Christ preached faith in Him and that we can pray and ask the Father to make our way in this world to preach the Gospel. If we need money for travel, God will provide it. If we need a place to lay our head, God will provide it. If we need food or drink or clothing, our Father knows what we need and will provide it. For Scripture bears these things out.
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Mat 6:25-34)
Brethren, it is the world who makes business plans. When the so called church plans on how to raise money and plans on how to gain membership then they are not acting in faith towards Christ. They are making plans as worldly men do. We are warned plainly not to act or behave in worldly manner. For in the epistle of James it is written
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
If a church is functioning like the world, then they are attracting the world. If the world is attracted and corrupts the assembly further then this practice is sin towards God. So then, ought not these men (and or women) who claim the name of Christ repent of these practices?
Brethren our faith and our Lord are too precious to be caught walking in the world upon His return. For judgment begins in the house of God. Just as Christ showed us in driving out the money changers. Let us continue and persevere and keep our walk pure.
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Mat. 10:16)