I’m sure most of you have either seen the video or heard of the parents brawling at the Arlington High School graduation in a suburb of Memphis TN. The fight was over saving seats. Not only was there fighting, but also profanity…in the sanctuary where the congregation worships.

It led me to a question with which I’ve been struggling…should we allow events or ceremonies in the sanctuary that aren’t dedicated to worshiping God?

I know some churches have multiple buildings and rooms…I’m talking about the particular building or room that’s been dedicated to worship.

Should we allow events where people won’t have an opportunity to hear the word of God?

When we have graduations, ceremonies honoring people and even weddings in church, we are potentially inviting people  who have no regard or respect for a house of worship dedicated to God, without giving them a word to possibly reach their hearts.

Notice, that even weddings didn’t take place in the temple in the bible.

John 2:2-5 (ESV)

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.

Notice how Jesus angrily and passionately removed those selling and exchanging money from the temple.

Matthew 21:12-13 (ESV)

12 And Jesus entered the temple[a] and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

How many times have you noticed people buying or selling in church?

This is a conversation that we should be having in our churches. There are plenty of venues to have events. Are we compromising the integrity of where we worship?

Yes, a wedding is a ‘religious’ ceremony, but it’s still not worship. Maybe that’s why weddings weren’t held in the temple in the bible.

I’m not an expert on this, but I wonder if other faiths allow events other than worship in their dedicated buildings or rooms?

What do you think?


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