WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SELLING IN CHURCH?
The first Scriptures that come to mind regarding
selling in church are Matthew 21:12-13;
Mark 11:15-17; and Luke 19:45-46. These three passages
describe the two times when Jesus “cleansed” the Temple.
When He saw the activities that were being carried on in His
Father’s house, He became very angry. Clearly, this was not
what the temple was built for.
Jesus regarded merchants and customers as guilty of
desecrating the temple. Items being bought and sold included
doves and other animals for sacrifice (John 2:14).
Also present were those who exchanged one currency for
another. This money-changing service was needed because
Roman coins and other forms of currency were deemed unacceptable
for temple offerings. Evidently, both merchants
and money changers were charging such excessive rates
that the temple marketplace took on the atmosphere of a
thieves’ den (verse 13).
Obviously, selling books, hosting a raffle, doing fundraising,
etc., are different than what was going on in the temple.
Jesus was not necessarily angry that people were selling in
the temple; He was angry because people were focused on
selling, not on God. Jesus was also angry that the moneychangers
were taking advantage of people, many of whom
were poor and needed these services. Doves and other
animals were required for offerings, and tithes in acceptable
currency was also a requirement.
Such is not the case in today’s churches. Purchases in
a church bookstore, for example, are entirely voluntary. No
purchase is necessary to attend worship. If a church does
decide to sell something inside the church building, it should
make sure that the selling does not receive undue attention;
does not distract people from worship and the teaching of
God’s Word; and does not break the sacredness of the Sabbath
hours. Selling should never be a high-pressure activity.
WHY IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE
The Bible tells us that we need to attend church
so we can worship God with other believers
and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth (Acts 2:42;
Heb. 10:25). Church is the place where believers can love
one another (1 John 4:12), encourage one another (Heb.
3:13), consider one another (Heb. 10:24), serve one another
(Gal. 5:13), instruct one another (Rom. 15:14), honor one
another (Rom. 12:10), and be kind and compassionate to
one another (Eph. 4:32).
When a person trusts Jesus Christ for salvation, he or
she is made a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27).
For a church body to function properly, all of its “parts”
need to be present (1 Cor. 12:14-20). Likewise, a believer
will never reach full spiritual maturity without the assistance
and encouragement of other believers (1 Cor. 12:21-26). For
these reasons, church attendance, participation, and fellowship
should be regular aspects of a believer’s life. Weekly
church attendance is not required for believers, but someone
who trusts Christ should have a desire to worship God, learn
from His Word, and fellowship with other believers.