Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cast out the moneychangers from the church!

Matthew 21:10And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. 12And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. 14And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 15And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased, 16And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? 17And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

Someone once said, "Jesus came to show us the way, and people have been studying his fingernails ever since." Jesus constantly butted heads with the religious authorities of his day, because they continuously failed to "get it" -- but, sadly, the religious authorities of the communities claiming to follow him have also failed to "get it". Certainly, being physical beings, we have material needs, and communities of human beings will inevitably have those material needs as well. Although we in the independent movement tend not to have paid clergy or church buildings, there is certainly nothing wrong with either of these, and there is a proper way for churches to be good stewards of money.

However, sadly, it is all too easy for money and other material concerns to become the primary concern, replacing true spiritual values rather than supporting them. And money is not the only temptation -- political power is another serious temptation. Tragically, we see this played out in Nigeria, where the the head of the Anglican organization, Peter Akinola, is actively working to get laws passed that would ban any support for or expression of homosexuality, with five-year prison terms. That this man is condemning the Episcopal Church and its Christian leaders, such as Bishop Gene Robinson, while perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ into a tool for persecution of those against whom he is bigoted is obscene.

I urge everyone who reads this to pray for the persecuted lgbt community of Nigeria, and to contact your elected officials to urge them to act to prevent this grotesque miscarriage of justice.

1 comment:

Rev.Tom said...

Hello +Tim,
Thanks for posting about the terrible, approaching Nigerian situation. I wrote about this on the ISM Board without seeing any response. That is rather troubling to me. Perhaps I am reading more into the silence than need be. I hope not. I have contacted members of Congress and the State Dept. and will continue to pray for Nigeria.