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.
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.