Church folk. Lawd…
Church folk have been accused of some of the most vile things in history. Things that are completely opposite the word of Christ. Things that would repel anyone. But when we begin to look at who the folks are in the "church" sometimes we see that they all aren’t holy-holy. Some people are just there to hang out, some are there because they love Christ, and some people are there because … well we won’t get into those people (LOL!)
Romans talks about many different types of people who populate a church building. These are not to be confused with people who make up the church. The church is really a collection of individuals who are now not owners of themselves. The church is a collection of people who have lived their life their own way, then got and heeded the call to live a holy and separate life.
There are three people outlined in Romans 16:17 – 1) The instigators, 2) The innocents, 3) The watchers. Let’s look at it:
17 One final word of counsel, friends. Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth.18 They have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They’re only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren’t above using pious sweet talk to dupe unsuspecting innocents.
WOW. So who am I?
Am I, through subtlety disguised as earnestness just another piranha, trying to leech off of the system? Or am I watching against those type of people (and when my own intentions get led astray) protecting other brothers and sisters in Christ from incorrect actions?
It’s not simply about doctrine right? Some of the biggest lessons we learn in church have nothing to do with teaching of a lesson during bible study or worship on Sunday — sadly. The lessons we learn and remember were the things we were taught and the things we practice through our actions. If Sister Yi could sing sweet enough to sound like an angel, and in the process gained "respect" through being a terror, then I, as a person who desires her gift, may emulate her action — although it’s completely opposite what I should be doing! Or if Minister Yusef could preach the fire of the gospel, and had his armor bearer wipe his sweaty head, then I too, desiring to preach with the power of Christ, think that that’s a pathway.
So I end up serving these people and their egotistical humanity, instead of Christ. Why? Because I, having been an innocent got baited and trapped. We have to guard ourselves, the people in our fellowship and fight a fight of faith AND love.
Who have you been, in action, amidst the body of Christ?