We couldn’t believe what we were hearing, especially after the devastating loss of everything we possessed. Listening to various Christian leaders support the very practice that opened the doorway to our destruction was more than puzzling to us.
It is popularly said that Jesus is “always having a good day”. He is always happy and fun to be around. Tell that to the merchants.
He did it twice.
The first time He was angry enough to fashion a makeshift whip and drive all of them out. “Stop turning my Father’s house into a store!” He shouted.
It was a warning. When Jesus says to stop something, He means business. If His words are left unheeded, there will be a natural progression to an even lower state of His house.
They didn’t listen.
Here He was again, this time at the very end of His earthly ministry, seeing the same activity going on in His house. With a broken and angry heart, He declared the outcome of His unheeded warning. “You have turned My house into a cave of thieves!”
There you have it. The natural downward spiral from allowing business to be conducted in the house of God ends with His house becoming possessed by a spirit of theft.
“We have to allow freedom for business to be conducted in the house” is what we have been told when we shared our story with Christian leaders as a warning. Like Jesus, we were unheeded too. As it was with the temple, waves of theft and fraud have rocked the churches that have tenaciously hung on to allowing the marketplace in the house of God.
Business deals being conducted over tables in the church coffee shop. Multilevel marketing meetings being conducted in Sunday school classes after hours. Tables full of oils, books, CD’s and other paraphernalia on display during Christian conferences or hawked from the pulpit by guest speakers. The emporium spirit has thoroughly invaded the 21st century church.
Jesus would have a hey day today, flipping tables. He would probably have the cops called on Him by church leaders and be charged with a felony as well.
It’s only a matter of time.
If a church allows this behavior, it will be on a collision course with outright fraud. It is a principle. Jesus predicted it. We, among countless others, have paid a very dear price to have learned this lesson.
We urge you to hear “what the Spirit is saying to the churches”.
Dan and Debbie Murrill