Bank robbers and church robbers

“Guard the deposit, entrusted to you” (1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:14). 

What would you think of a bank that had no security? They didn’t have a safe. They had no safety screens at the counter. They didn’t lock the building at night. They had no way to hold their employees accountable. All the cash just sat in the desks and in piles on the tables! Would you deposit your money there?! Would you trust them with your savings?! You’d be very silly to, because such a bank would be incapable of guarding the deposit entrusted to them. 

If a church doesn’t have a robust confession of faith, and a robust procedure for stopping people departing from it (1 Tim 1:2), they’re like that bank. Too often in churches, teaching the gospel is just left to “trust”. “Oh, no one in our circles would teach anything against the gospel”. But that kind of “trust” is the opposite of guarding. It’s like leaving piles of cash lying around in full view. It’s like trusting strangers with your front-door keys. That kind of “trust” is not honourable; it’s reckless and irresponsible. 

The living God has entrusted his church with an infinitely valuable deposit – the gospel of Jesus Christ! – and he commands us to “guard” it. Why do Christians ask for higher security standards from their bank than their church? Perhaps it reveals which deposit we really think is more valuable.