Fast Five: No Con 2 John…

2 John

2 John

One could fairly argue that both Obadiah and Paul, the authors of the books of Obadiah and Philemon, are fiery in the way they write. Obadiah probably had a chip on his shoulder about Edom since they probably participated, either directly or indirectly, in the demise of Judah. Paul is well-known for his controversial writing and his inability to tolerate immaturity from some believers. Today we delve into a book authored by someone often referred to as “the disciple Jesus loved,” aka John. And John is the antithesis of Obadiah and Paul.

John writes like a poet and a “lover.” This is true of four of the books he authored in the New Testament: the gospel of John, 1st John, 2nd John, and 3rd John. His last authored book, The Revelation, is much more brazen, most likely because it’s the result of a prophetic vision he was given about the end of the world. Let’s be honest–the end of the world isn’t going to be pretty. Writing about it as if it is, is probably inappropriate.

Thus, I find 2nd John a very gentle book and I can see why Jesus “might have liked him best.” John just gets that the essential part of Jesus’ ministry was about love. John is very careful not to convey anything but respect and courtesy to those needing a word from him. And yet, there are aspects of 2nd John that readers might misconstrue as intolerant. Which aspects? Check out verses 10-11:

10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

One could easily argue that John is saying we should shun anyone who disagrees with us about the Bible and its teachings. That would be wrong. How? Because receiving someone into your home and giving them a greeting is more than inviting someone into your home for a debate and greeting them at the door with a “Hi, how are you?”

Greeting and receiving someone in post-resurrection times involved “extended hospitalities.” In other words this might mean housing and feeding this person throughout their stay! And such hospitality could be construed as agreement with their philosophies and thoughts. John mentions, several times, that love is truth and truth is love. Thus, while he wants us to be kind and loving to others, we have a duty to set the record straight, particularly when it comes to what happened to Jesus.

Let’s be honest–we have very persuasive people in our midst. Their smooth arguments, if not argued as Christians, can lead us “down the garden path.” And soon we find ourselves embracing concepts and beliefs that are not at all reflected by the life of Christ. Therefore, we have to walk a spiritual tightrope. On the one hand we need to gently point out how the Bible would not support their opinions so they can also speak the truth. On the other hand we need to protect ourselves from their errant thinking. And at least in this case, John feels that welcoming such thinking into the “elect lady’s” home would do more harm than good.

While I believe that God loves all of us, there are people around me that I am too weak to debate! This is not their problem–it’s spiritual immaturity on my part! It’s a confession that I don’t trust God to provide the words to help set the record straight. It’s a lack of knowledge on my part. It’s complacency and inappropriate priorities. After all, if God put this person in my path, God wants me to help straighten that person out, in love and truth. I might not be the “domino” that totally changes that person’s mind, but I have a duty to “plant seeds” and cause that person to reconsider his or her belief system.

I think that just changed what I will be doing today. How about you?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 at 10:57 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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