Snakes in the Church

Last week I saw a meme on social media that said, “Not all snakes crawl - Some sit in church.”

I gotta admit it set me back a bit that someone might make such a statement about church folks. But after some thought I had to admit that it is highly likely a true statement. It’s true, there can be Christians who are not honest, nor have pure motives. There are New Testament examples of such people, for instance Paul said that, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.” (2 Tim. 4:10). Then there was Diotrephes, who loved to have superiority among the brethren and throw people out of the church. (3 John 9-10). Timothy was warned of liars and hypocrites that would be in the church (1 Tim. 4:1-3). With these examples there is no doubt that there are “snakes” in the church.

But you may be surprised that the church is exactly where the snakes need to be. In Mark 2:15-17 we read of an occasion where Jesus had gone to Levi’s house for a meal and there were tax collectors (thieves) and sinners who were there. Jesus was accused of socializing with the less desirable crowd by the religious people. He answered their accusations by saying, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (v. 17)

There is a misconception among folks that the church is to be filled with perfect people and before one can be a part of the church they must be perfect. Only by God’s grace and our obedience to Him do we find ourselves in His family. Yes, there are imperfect people in His church and that’s right where they [we] need to be. - [Change added by SR.]

Jay Launius 2020 Maud church of Christ Maud, Texas