Believe it or not there is a lot of snake handling in the church today.
It happens in almost every church and in every denomination. Our churches are filled with broods of vipers.
Just like the old religious groups that existed in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, we hold to the old “our way or the highway” mentality and tear everyone else down in the process. I don’t think it is always done on purpose, but just out of ignorance.
Little ears hear big things
I grew up in small town Presbyterian Church. No one there, that I can remember, ever said that we held the highest authority on the right way or the wrong way things should be done. However, I remember old opinions that I had formed at an early age.
- We were the most right about everything.
- Baptist ran a close second place.
- Medodists didn’t get it quite right.
- Everyone else was messed up.
- If you spoke in tongues, you could be saying words from the devil, so run from it.
Where did these ideas come from? Children are curious creatures. They love to find the answers to the who, what, when, why, and how of every situation and they often get their answers by listening to the conversations around them.
Yes, even when you don’t think they are listening, their radar is on.
Paul wrote to Timothy about this very issue in the church.
Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words:it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. (2 Timothy 2:14)
Are we giving fish or snakes?
Too often I think we do give our children snakes. They come with forked tongues in the form of gossip, preconceived ideas, and judgments about others. What would happen if we really treated others the way we wanted to be treated?
“What man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? “Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?” If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! “Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:9-13)”
Could the body of Christ come together and embrace one another in love? What if we spent more time giving God praise about the things we agree on instead of tearing each other apart?
Jesus used the term “Brood of Vipers” in Matthew chapter 12. He again is talking to the Pharisees about the way that they use their mouths to speak against the work of the Holy Spirit.
A brood of what?
You brood of vipers, how can you being evil, speak what is good. For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34).
I looked up synonyms for brood and found these words:
What we do and say will be passed down into our families for generations to come. I would much rather my family and the religious people of our day be known as a Brood of Believers!
If we choose to put an end to the finger-pointing, it would be possible to change the flow of information going to the next generation. Instead of venom from our hearts, our children would receive the love that reaches out to those who are different than them. I am not saying that they should stray from the truth or bend the truth of the Word; above all we should teach truth. But we should accept one another’s strengths instead of exploiting weaknesses and allow the love, wisdom, and knowledge of God to sort out the rest. We are all parts of the same body.
“…but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16).
There is unity in purity
I embrace my heritage today as a former-Presbyterian-now-charismatic-Baptist girl. I am in a religious melting pot and hope to continue to stay there so the Master Refiner can continually help me to burn off the dross and keep my heart pure.
Want to join me?