A daily devotional by Dr. K. Neill Foster
for December 13, 2019
|Frivolity in the Sanctuary?|
Text: "Zeal for your house will consume me" John 2:17.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus took a whip and drove out the moneychangers and the livestock-- and dove-dealers in the temple? Perhaps at issue was the holiness of the site. Originally, at the dedication of the first temple, dedicated fire came down from heaven at the end of Solomon's prayer.
The sacredness of church buildings has been lost in this modern day, especially among evangelicals. Still, we continue to dedicate them. Apparently we believe something happens when we do that. There are even ceremonies for the lifting of a dedication from a church when the building is about to be sold to the Buddhists, for example. (Grace before meals is also a dedication. Even a glass of water offered "in the name of the Lord" is dedicated.)
Frivolity and foolishness have no place in the Christian sanctuary. "The thought of foolishness is sin," the Bible says. Churches who urge the pagans to come "just as they are" may be tacitly informing them that the building is of no consequence.
I suppose there is such a thing as "oppressive reverence" for a building that keeps people from the Lord. That has to be wrong. On the other hand, Jesus took out the whip because a dedicated building was being desecrated. What is the meaning of His action if in the New Testament era there is no longer any significance to religious buildings?