“and kept back some of the price for himself, . . .” Acts 5:2
The Bible never hides the faults and blemishes of its leaders. It never glosses over the struggles of the saints. Luke is no exception. He’s frank and honest enough to tell the story of two problem people within the early church. He might have been tempted to let his ardent admiration and enthusiasms of the church hold him back from telling of this incident, but he didn’t edit out the dark side. He chose to give us the cold hard facts.
Every family has problems and the church is no exception. Even within this hand-picked small group of people. Even in the early history of the church when it’s life was fresh and pure there were problem people. Believe it or not, this is a good thing.
For those who find fault within the walls of the church, this story is an encouragement. It reminds us that problem people have always been present in the church. It’s not a sign of total decay and disintegration. It’s not a sign of the last days. It doesn’t mean the church is useless, or that Christians can’t be trusted. It’s not a battering ram for us to assail the bride of Christ. The lesson is clear.
It takes all kinds of people to make up the church, even bad ones. It’s been that way since the beginning. The reason why the story of the calculating couple, Ananias and Sapphira, seems so dark is that it stands out next to the bright shining example of the generosity of Barnabas.
One of the reasons why wrongdoing in the church is less noticeable in the church today, than in the days of Acts, is because the light of the average believer is less intense. When most of the sheep are a dirty gray, the bad ones find it easier to blend right in.
Are you contributing to the health of the local body?