Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
Today we don’t have quite the same problems with money changers and hawkers of doves invading our houses of worship. We have a different issue emerging though, which is also a defilement of sorts. Some of our legislators in the house and senate would like to see the tax code changed to allow religious institutions to become actively political while maintaining their tax exempt status. I imagine that many of us would prefer to maintain our churches as a refuge from political discourse. I’d like church to remain a place where people can gather together for worship regardless of their political stance. Allowing political endorsements from the pulpit would effectively segregate congregations by political party and would only serve to divide our divided nation even further.