Many local congregations have meetings where reports are given and decisions are made. In some churches, anyone who is a “member” is invited to those meetings. It is a foolish mistake.

If your family had to make a serious decision, would you invite the four-year-old and the ten-year-old to weigh in? The challenge with many church meetings is that they invite young Christians to participate. Baby Christians often come disguised as forty-year-old men and women, who are one or two years old in biblical depth. The result? The experience allows people who are not “ready,” spiritually, to deal with big decisions—which should require a clarity of God’s will. The other result? These young Christians see other Christians speaking emotionally, disrespectfully, with each other.

Worse yet, we form congregations into political entities, called denominations. These groups are often more politically charged than spiritually directed. These meetings are a dangerous platform for Christians to misbehave. Why? There are “apostolic” leaders, and there are “political”

leaders. The latter are usually attracted to leadership of large bodies of Christians. The challenge? They all look the same—but behave very differently!

In 2 Timothy 2:14-26, Paul has advice that every Christian should memorize—and repeat to themselves often. Paul says to young Timothy, “Warn God’s people [everyone] before God against pious nitpicking….” Why? “It chips away at the faith. It wears everyone out.”

Paul adds, “Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk … mere words.” He continues, “If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul.”

This poison kills believers, kills churches, kills whole spiritual movements—like denominations. It crucifies Jesus, the Son of God, who gave His life for so much better: mission and ministry.

Paul uses the metaphor of a kitchen. He says, “Some containers in the kitchen serve fine meals; others take out the garbage.”

So, what kind of a spiritual container are you? What about the leaders of your church? What about the leaders of your denomination or movement? What kind of spiritual container are you, as a father, mother, son, daughter—as a Christian?

And, working with younger Christians: How should you operate? Paul says we should be “a gentle listener and teacher who keeps cool.” Why? That “God might sober them up with a change of heart.”

Behavior reflects spiritual depth. It is the responsibility of every Christian. How is that working for you?

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