The Money Changers

May 11, 2006

Original Post Date:  5/10/2006

I've come to the conclusion that maybe now is not the right time for speaking in quiet tones of reconciliation, at least with some folks.

It seems aparrent, at least to me, that a large part of the problem we face is the very large amount of funding that is coming in from outside the church towards the conservative cause.  Recent articles linking facts to the positions of the orthodox within the church, particularly the province of Nigeria and funding coming from large non-Episcopal conservative organizations within the US.  I note also that the Archbishop of Nigera has refused to embrace his portions of the Windsor report, calling for him to 1) express regret over his interference in the affairs of another province; 2) refrain from doing so in the future; and 3) express desire to remain in communion in the future.  He has taken none of these actions, while the ECUSA is taking steps to comply with all recommended actions in Windsor. 

I can't help but equating this to the money that was changing hands in the temple in Jesus' time.  Jesus response in this context was anger and a loud voice.  He understood that the money changers' attention, because they were so caught up in power, status, and greed, could only be gotten with dramatic statements showing them how they had departed from the essence of the Spirit.

I wonder if there is a message with Jesus in the temple for how we respond to the radical voices of the far-right today that, at least on the surface seem to be using money as a way of moving their agenda forward.  Of course it is only the fringe of the far-right that falls into this category, but I just wonder if there is a message there.  What are we to do when the voice of peace, the voice of reconciliation, the voice of community will not be heard?  When the voice of "my way or no way" is the only voice speaking?  When financial interests take precendence over the interests of the community?  What is the lesson that Jesus gives us here?  I wonder.

The peace of Christ to all.

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