by The Bear
Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 1:19 am:
~ ANOTHER GOSPEL ~ Galatians 1:6-9
Therefore he says, “Awake, sleeping ones! And arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” (Ephesians 5:14)
Diotrephes (Di-ot-re-phes), who loves to have the preeminence among them, did not receive us. Therefore if I come, I will remember his deeds which he does, ranting against us with evil words. And not content with these, neither does he himself receive the brothers. And he forbids those who would, and casts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate the bad, but the good. He who does good is from God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
(3 John 1:9,11)
You know what! Diotrephes couldn’t excommunicate one soul from “The Church Which is Christ Body”, because he isn’t on the membership committee. Jesus Christ is the only one on that committee and He alone adds to the Church and doesn’t subtract from it. (Acts 2:47; John 10:27-30; Hebrews 13:5)
It comes down to this, in regards to Diotrephes ungodly actions, he has an hedonistic compulsion that is thwarted by others preventing him from fulfilling selfish desires to rise to the top of the heap. A power struggle ensues and those that stand in his way either agree with him in his folly or be excommunicated from the fellowship of his assembly. (James 4:1-3)
This person wants his desire so badly that he is willing to cause conflict and division in the family of God. He is driven by a consuming hedonism, and anyone in his way may have to be sacrificed to fulfill that desire.
It’s possible for Diotrephes to disassociate himself from other believers and draw away other members from the “Body of Christ” unto himself, and become sectarian in his actions thus causing another division in the church that Paul the apostle admonished the early church members not to do.
~ LEGALISM ~
There are people who do not want us to be free. They don’t want us to be free before God, accepted just as we are by his grace. They don’t want us to be free to express our faith originally and creatively in the world. They want to control us; they want to use us for their own purposes. They themselves refuse to live arduously and openly in faith, but huddle together with a few others and try to get a sense of approval by insisting that all look, talk, and act alike, thus validating one another’s worth. They try to enlarge their numbers only on the condition that new members talk and behave the way they do. These people infiltrate communities of faith “to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 2:4) and not infrequently find ways to control, restrict and reduce the lives of free Christians. Without being aware of it, we become anxious about what others will say about us, obsessively concerned about what others think we should do. We no longer live the good news but anxiously try to memorize and recite the script that someone else has assigned to us. We may survive as a religious community, but we will not experience what it means to be human, alive in love and faith, expansive in hope. Conforming and self-congratulatory behavior is not free. But Paul “did not yield in submission even for a moment, that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.” Every free person who benefits from Paul’s courage will continue vigilant in the resistance movement he formed. (Eugene Peterson)
Obligating yourself to this kind of legalistic leadership you’d have to check your brain at the door of the assembly meeting and submit to a self appointed pseudo church leadership of men presiding over a group of people duped into submission by the fear of being excommunicated if they don’t agree with those in charge.
I wouldn’t desire to have any fellowship in that kind of church atmosphere under those conditions, nor would I want to subjugate myself to this kind of leadership anymore than I would want to join the “Roman Catholic Church” or the “Watchtower Society”. Thanks, but no thanks!
Diotrephes interprets the scripture verse, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3), to mean that all must be in agreement with those in “leadership” right or wrong. Remember you need only the Holy Spirit to teach you what this verse means, not Diotrephes and his good old boys.
As we go through life, we have to make applications of Biblical principles to a contemporary society. (Diotrephes quoting Charles Swindoll)
Diotrephes misapplies this premise to justify his teaching that marriage, divorce, and remarriage, sodomy and polygamy is permissible for the Church today.
~ DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION! ~
Jehovah, the God of Israel, says He hates divorce. It was also said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you that whoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever shall marry her who is put away commits adultery. (Malachi 2:16; Matthew 5:31,32)
And it happened, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came into the borders of Judea beyond Jordan. And great crowds followed Him. And He healed them there. And the Pharisees came to Him, tempting Him and saying to Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And He answered and said to them, Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female”, and said, For this cause a man shall leave father and mother and shall cling to his wife, and the two of them shall be one flesh? Therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. They said to Him, Why did Moses then command to give a bill of divorce and to put her away? He said to them, Because of your hard-heartedness Moses allowed you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it was not so.” And I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is put away commits adultery. (Matthew 19:1-9)
Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:14)
Does this verse imply that sodomy is also permissible under the sheets or should it be listed along with fornication and adultery?
Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (You’ll notice that sodomy is listed along with adultery and homosexuality as a separate entity.) (1 Corinthians 6:9,10 NKJV)
Definition: Sodomy - 2. Anal or oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex. (Sodomy is a perverted act of sexual behavior!)
Diotrephes personally teaches young couples, separately and privately about sexual intercourse techniques before he will marry them. Does this include sodomy?
Should he and others be allowed to conduct this kind of counseling which he endorse and is supported by the other “leadership” in his assembly of the Church today?
Diotrephes stated that if polygamy were legal in this country today, it would be all right for men and women to practice this, but he would council against it. Why?
He based this new teaching of his on the fact that God blessed many of the great men of the Bible, even though they practiced polygamy.
Does God really bless those who have more than one wife or does He only allow one to learn a lesson of grief and sorrow for practicing polygamy?
~ God Commanded Man Not to Multiply Horses or Wives! ~ (Deuteronomy 17:16,17)
When Abraham took Hagar to wife, was this a blessing? To this day the world looks at Israel as a “cup of trembling” expecting any moment for the descendents of Ishmael to try and push the Israelis’ into the Mediterranean Sea, i.e. the “Third World War”. Oy vey, this is a blessing? (Zechariah 12:2,3; Revelation 16:16)
Let’s look at King David and all his wives and all the heartache that this caused him and all his families. Incest, murder, adultery, and war!
King Solomon and his hundreds of wives and concubines lead Israel into all kinds of idolatry. Was this another blessing?
~ Let’s Be Real, Polygamy Is Not A Blessing At All! ~
Who knows what else Diotrephes might come up with? Maybe you’ll be drinking his purple cool-aid soon if you continue to follow his leadership?
If all born again believers would practice in their daily lives what brother Paul taught in the letters to the church in Rome, there would be a unity and peace in the body of Christ that the unbelieving world, Christendom, the Devil, fallen angels, and demons could not understand.
I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to every one who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think. But set your mind to be right-minded, even as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. For even as we have many members in one body, and all members do not have the same function, so we the many are one body in Christ, and each one members of one another. Then having gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, if prophecy, according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, in the ministry; or he who teaches, in the teaching; or he who exhorts, in the encouragement; or he who shares, in simplicity; or he who takes the lead, in diligence; or he who shows mercy, in cheerfulness. Let love be without hypocrisy, shrinking from evil, cleaving to good; in brotherly love to one another, loving fervently, having led one another in honor. As to diligence, not slothful, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in affliction, steadfastly continuing in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, pursuing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse. Rejoice with rejoicing ones, and weep with weeping ones; minding the same thing toward one another, not minding high things, but yielding to the lowly. Do not be wise within yourselves. Repay no one evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as far as is in you, being in peace with all men. Not avenging yourselves, beloved, but giving place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirsts, give him drink. For in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans12:1-21)
~ Endeavoring to Keep The Unity of The Spirit In The Bond of Peace ~ (Ephesians 4:3)
And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. (John 17:20,21)
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33)
That there not be division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. (1 Corinthians 12:25)
Don’t allow Diotrephes to control you by his domino markings if you don’t agree with his new false doctrines . . . nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:10)
But now I have written to you not to associate intimately, if any man called a brother and is either a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one not to eat. (1 Corinthians 5:11)
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks disorderly, and not after the teaching which he received from us . . . but you, brothers, do not be weary in well doing, and if anyone does not obey our word by this letter, mark that one and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
(2 Thessalonians 3:6; 13-15)
And Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. (Luke 23:34)
May God help you who sit under the leadership of men like Diotrephes, and don’t allow yourselves to be deceived and influenced by him or those that follow his dictates to control you, but be strong in the faith and stand up for the truth, righteousness and sound doctrine!
Your brother In Christ ~
All scripture text is from the NKJV except as noted.
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