Sunday, July 10, 2016
When Church Gets Expensive
At Faithful Word Baptist Church, we don’t charge for anything. We give away Bibles, CDs and DVDs, and all church activities are free of charge. The reason we don’t charge for these things is found in John Chapter Two. Not only is it wrong to make God’s house a house of merchandise, but people don’t like being put on the spot and asked to spend money. Unfortunately, attending some churches can get expensive.
Youth Ministry or Youth Industry?
In one large independent fundamental Baptist church I heard about, teenagers in a Sunday School class were asked to give five dollars each to help pay for a “staff gift.” The youth leader harangued the class, telling the kids they probably spent their money on the weekends at a local amusement park. Many teens do not even have jobs, and if they did, there would be nothing wrong with them having fun with their own money. That same church hosts a large annual youth conference, which serves mainly as a live infomercial for their Bible college as well as for books and CDs brought in by the guest speakers.
Buy this Commentary
At another church in the same circle, women were pressured to buy a book on dress standards, so they would know what they were expected to wear. Most of the ladies in the church bought the book, but a woman I spoke with who went there felt that if they wanted her to read it so badly, they should have given it to her for free.
It’s not just the leadership asking for money, either. In churches that sell merchandise on the back table, people will often assume it is okay to market their own wares. Don’t walk in with your Mary Kay catalogue or whatever else you happen to be peddling, and we won’t ask you to buy anything either. There is a time and a place for making money, and it’s not at church.
Sunday Morning Soda
Soda machines at church also irritate people, because it can cause their children to ask for money every service—not to mention the obvious health concerns.
If you attend a church that has a book store or soda machines, you should refrain from buying anything. Not only did Jesus teach us not to make God’s house a house of merchandise, but we can see from reading the story, that it makes him extremely angry:
“And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.” - John 2:13-16
Here is a sermon called "Houses of Merchandise"