Is It Biblical to Have a Bookstore in Your Church?

Question: Is it Biblical to have a church bookstore?  Isn’t that what Jesus was angry about in the temple that day?

Answer: Jesus was very angry in the temple that day, here is the account:

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.  And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”  (Matthew 21:12-13)

The temple sacrifices were a once a year thing.  If you did not have a goat, lamb, or dove, to sacrifice, it just so happened that you could buy one in the temple that day for an escalated price.  Thus, the priests were using the established yearly sacrifices to make a profit by jacking up the prices on animals that day.  This is what made Jesus so angry.  This is how they turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves.  Not only was it mandatory to bring an animal, the priests were using a God-instituted regulation for worship to make financial profit.  Is this the same with church bookstores today?

No, well, I hope not.  Whereas the priests took advantage of God’s established order of worship to make money, churches today with bookstores hopefully don’t do the same thing, because it is not mandatory to go into them and buy something in order to come into worship.  Also, those bookstores are there for edification, to build the people of God up, giving them resources to further grow in Jesus.  If churches made it mandatory to buy something, or even pushed people a bit to go in there so they might buy something, then it would turn into a den of thieves and be very wrong.

So, no it is not wrong for churches to have bookstores in them, if buying stuff in them is optional.

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