Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Misconception Regarding 2 John 10

There are many passages of Scripture that Christians seems to have a misunderstanding or a bad interpretation. Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" seems to be the most popular one to misunderstand. Of course there are many more, but I want to focus on one that seems to get misunderstood a lot and that verse is 2 John 10, which says:

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting.

Lets get the context of this passage to understand why many misunderstand this verse. The Apostle John warns about false teachers who have gone out to say Jesus has not come into the flesh. He goes on to say that those "who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son" (2 John 9). This is where verse 10 comes into play followed by a warning from verse 11, "for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works."

How do people misunderstood this passage? Simply put, some Christians do not allow other people from other religions to come in their homes or near their homes. Jehovah Witnesses come to mind when I think about Christians who have told them, "I don't want to hear what you have to say. Please leave." They do this without sharing one word of the gospel with them. There is one town I know aware of that has outlawed Jehovah Witnesses from knocking on people's doors.

If you have ever talked with a Jehovah Witness, you know it can be a challenge because they look like religious zombies that respond with their textbook answers. However, the Bible tell us to preach the gospel to all creation.

Some Christians have even gone to the extreme saying they should not have non-Christians in their home or those who do not have the same Biblical values. Really? I heard Jeff Durbin make a good point about this. If you hold on to a view like this, that means the plumber who is not a Christian cannot fix your plumbing. The doctor who is Hindu cannot take care of you.

The passage in question talks about letting false teachers in your homes. The passage actually says house not homes. Who is John writing to in this letter, "The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth" (2 John 1). The elder is a church leader. The elect lady and her children is referring to a local congregation. The Apostle John is writing about not letting false teachers in their church. False teachers should not be welcomed in the church at all.

As Christians, we are called to love everyone and proclaim the gospel to the lost. Yes, there might be times when you might invite a lost person into your home and that is good. If you take this passage the wrong way, you only show that you don't love them.

One thing that is key in understanding verses like this one is context and careful study of the Bible. Not just in 2 John 10, but with all Scripture.

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