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Question 243

On Saturday, St. John the Evangelist church had their Christmas market. I was one of those who had a stall selling vintage China etc. A fellow Greek Cypriot told me that I should not consider having a stall in the church itself in the future as it's 'amartia'. Why is it that for example the Church of England is never heard saying it's a sin to do this and a sin to do that like the Orthodox church. God isn't angry with its people for not believing in such things.

 

Answer to Question 243

 

Many people consider selling things in the church yard or hall as being a sin because Jesus showed that he was angry with the stall holders and moneychangers when he entered the Jerusalem temple: “And Jesus went into the temple of God,and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21: 12-13) 

 

The difference is that they had actually turned the temple courtyard into a permanent market place and for personal profit. What we do in our Churches cannot be compared to what the Jews did. Our churches do not have permanent stalls in the courtyard or hall. If and when we do allow such things it is usually only once or twice a year and usually to raise money for the philanthropic works of the church or some other charity. The seller has an opportunity to sell his/her ware and will give something to the church in return for providing the space. I would take no notice of what some people say, if the church allows it then it is her sin and not yours.