NCF, don’t you have homes to eat in?

Of all the things that happen at New Covenant Fellowship (NCF), of all the abuses, and all the manipulation, there is one that shocks me more than any other. I am talking about the selling of food after each service.

I still attend NCF from time to time, and on my last visit I was witness to a very sad site indeed. I was standing in the main foyer of the church watching the brethren stuff their faces with hotdogs that one can purchase from the in-house restaurant, when I saw one man walk away from his food that was sitting on one of the table. He was obviously full and did not want what was left over. To my horror two small children, who were not well dressed moved over to the table and took the leftovers and ate it.

I believe morally it is wrong for this type of thing to happen in any church, but I am sure that if you asked the eldership about what happened they will say that the food is free for those who can’t afford it.

This I would say is very admirable, but is it practiced? I would be very interested in seeing a recorded number of how many people actually take up the (so called) offer for free food.

But besides this being a morel issue, I also believe it to be a biblical issue. NCF has purposely ignored parts of the bible so they can run this fund raising exercise.

I would like to look at two verses that I believe refer to this abuse.

John 2:13-17

Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”

I am sure that if I presented this verse to an NCF elder that they would make a statement along the following line:

“Jesus was in the Temple and not a church. The Temple was much more holy than a church. This is because The Holy of Holies was there making it God’s literal house.”

This may be true, but is a church not the embassy of our God and Lord Jesus Christ? Are the people that make it up not God’s representatives here on earth?

Has NCF not turned the Church of Christ into a church of merchandise?

The second verse I believe is more decisive on the matter, especially when considering the two poor children that had to eat leftovers.

1 Corinthians 11:17-22

In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!”

Well NCF, don’t you have homes to eat in or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing.

This verse also shows that my interpretation of John 2:13-17 is a correct one because it says “do you despise the church”. This shows that there has to be a level of respect for the church, and if it degraded the temple then it also degrades the church.

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6 comments

  1. Maybe this is not “fundraising” at all. Our church used to sell food after the service for the express purpose of generating fellowship, not funds. In fact, there were many weeks when there was a loss. The point was to simply break even. This hardly qualifies for the rebuke you feel you need to make. Have you bothered to ask anyone about this matter before freely printing your opinion online? Shame on you…

  2. Are you ignoring what has been written? Are you ignoring 1 Corinthians 11:17-22? Is it correct to ignore a piece of scripture canon just because it makes sense to you to sell food at a church after services?
    At another Charismatic church here in South Africa there is a Coffee shop. It goes by the name of Jire Café and has done so very well that they are now making it into a franchise that they are going to sell to other churches.
    You ask me if I have asked anyone about the matter before I print it on the internet. I have been in dispute with the above said church for many years and have full knowledge as to why things are done. I was a member. I believe that I at this point have enough knowledge about the going on’s at NCF to accurately apply Paul’s rebuke of 1 Corinthians 11:17-22.
    Tell me something. Is the church you attend that is selling food after the service Charismatic?
    Well anyway, thanks for the comment and God bless.

  3. I can see your point about the “hungry” but not about the selling of food and comparing it to selling things in the temple.
    What are you getting at by asking about my church being “charismatic”?
    I think it’s a shame that you have been in dispute over this issue for many years. It certainly sounds as if you were hurt during the time you attended or you wouldn’t be as offended as you are.

  4. Was I hurt, I have to say no, I was not hurt, maybe dismayed, confused, but by the grace of God, I believe I am over that.
    I asked if you church was Charismatic for two reasons. The first being that the selling of food in my opinion mainly takes place at Charismatic churches, but I could not have all the facts on that because I live in a small town and that is how it is here.
    The second reason was because I am interested why you are defending NCF with this practice, when there is so many other ways to fellowship.
    Would it not be better for instance to have a big bring and share, and then feed everyone out of the combined collection of food? This way no one goes hungry. Is this not like the early church?
    I believe that the example of Jesus throwing the traders out of the temple is important as it shows His attitude towards disrupting a place of worship. It also shows his attitude towards commercial Christianity, or in that case Judaism.
    The key verses here are 1 Corinthians 11:17-22. I would be interested in seeing how you would interpret that verse and how it does not apply to the situation at NCF

  5. Wow, I never thought that something that facilitates fellowship could become offensive to some. In my opinion, if the food is being sold at cost, then I don’t see it as wrong. Even if there was a profit and that went towards subsidizing the food that is given away or community projects then that is great. I did a quick search on NCF and it seems that they are quite involved with the poor and needy:
    http://www.myggsa.co.za/connect/receivers/project_gateway
    http://www.ncfchurch.org.za/community.php
    http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:Ei2XQ2VHVAMJ:www.kznhealth.gov.za/edendale/ncf.htm+%2B%22NCF+Church%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=za
    http://www.mumsmail.com/JULY_UPLOAD/kids_education_Ethan_House.htm

    This doesn’t sound like it is a type of church that you seem to be implying it is.

    It is a really good idea though for everyone to do a bring and share. I think that that would be awesome to do every now and then, but I’m not sure how easy it would be to do on an ongoing basis especially as it seems that this particular church is holding four services on a Sunday.

    It is an interesting point of view that the selling of food relates to John 2:13-17, but I don’t think that that is what the scripture is referring to. In my opinion and in many commentaries I have read it is interpreted as referring more to sacrifice and acceptable worship. The people were just buying any old animal/item to sacrifice rather than bringing the first fruits and the best that they had. Now we know that our bodies are the temple of GOD and that church buildings are exactly that, buildings where the church (GOD’s people) meet. So, applying this verse to ourselves, we have to examine our hearts and see if we are seeking the LORD at our own comfort and convenience or if we are truly worshipping the LORD in Spirit and in truth.

    My interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 is that it is in the context of the LORD’s supper, or Communion. I do not see how this applies to the selling of hot dogs. It is talking of people taking part in Communion in an unworthy manner where they are eating/drinking as they would at home without examining their hearts and without remembering the body & blood of Christ. It is saying that if they are making it into just another meal, then they should just go and do that at home. This by no means says that you can’t eat meals together as the church. There are many instances where I see the church eating together in Scripture.

    I do believe that it is good to examine how and why we are doing things as the Church of GOD and that no church is perfect because it is made up of imperfect people, but having read other parts of your blog it seems that you are particularly offended with this church. I pray that you will forgive whoever has hurt you and stop persecuting the LORD’s bride.
    May you rather turn your attention onto seeking the LORD’s face and get involved in a church that will walk with you through whatever past hurts are hindering you.

    GOD bless you richly.

    Your brother in CHRIST -Mark

  6. Personally, I think if there is going to be food at a church, it should be available to all.. or they shouldn’t have food at all. It is so clear and I cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t see this. If a church is under the power of God, He will provide. A church that is selling hot dogs to make money and then allows for the poor to go hungry.. abolutely terrible!!!!!!!!

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