Vexing The Church

J. D. Conley
July 10, 2016

Luke records, "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also..." (Acts 12:1-3). The Herod mentioned above was known as Agrippa I. He was the grandson of Herod the Great, who murdered infants in a desperate attempt to kill the Christ-child, (Matthew 2: Iff.), and he was the nephew of Herod Antipas, who beheaded John the Immerser, (Mark 4:14ff.). As the passage reveals, he also murdered the apostle James. When Herod saw that killing James pleased the Jews, he made plans to have Peter put to death too. Truly, Herod was a man who "vexed certain of the church."

The word "vex" means, "to worry, to torment, to frustrate, to make difficult." Therefore, is it possible for certain of the church to vex the church? Not only is it possible, it is done time and time again. Although Christians putting other Christians to death is unheard of, there are other ways in which "certain of the church" vex the church.

The Apathetic Christian Vexes The Church. Members who are indifferent toward the mission and work of the church are a source of frustration and discouragement to each member who wants to see the church grow. Not only are such Christians a vexation to the faithful, they are also a source of vexation to Christ, (Revelation 3:15-19). Apathy sickens the Lord and infects the body of Christ.

The Stingy Giver Vexes The Church. In order for the work of the church to advance, money is necessary. The less money given, the less good can be accomplished. If God "loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7), then He must despise a stingy one. Giving is an act of worship. If one gives very little when much more could be given, how can such a paltry act [sum] be pleasing to God? May each Christian have this attitude, "What shall I render unto the Lordfor all his benefits toward me" (Psalm 116:12)?

The Gossiper Vexes The Church. Nothing but bad ever comes from a tongue that wags. How many times have brethren and entire congregations been tom apart because some brother or sister felt compelled to be a talebearer? Few things vex the church more than the gossiper, the whisperer, and the slanderer. The gossiper finds themselves in the company of the worst of sinners, (Romans 1:29-32).

One Need Not Murder Christians In Order To Vex The Church.