Why Would Christians Follow Diotrephes?

Leader

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church” (3 John 9-10).

In John’s third epistle, he warned about a man named Diotrephes. We often talk about this man and his desire for preeminence, his rule over the church, and the trouble he caused. However, we usually do not talk about his followers. In this article, we will consider the followers of Diotrephes and why they would follow him.Continue Reading

The Real Pharisees (Part 15): The Pharisees Overemphasized Human Tradition

The Real Pharisees

Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ‘Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, “Honor your father and mother,” and, “He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.” But you say, “Whoever says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,’ he is not to honor his father or his mother.” And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.’

‘You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men”’” (Matthew 15:1-9).

Jesus confronted the Pharisees over their traditions. The Pharisees asked Jesus why His disciples broke “the tradition of the elders” (Matthew 15:2). In response, Jesus asked them why they allowed their tradition to serve as justification for them to “transgress the commandment of God” (Matthew 15:3). They were zealously defending their traditions instead of the law of God.
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Progressivism

Pointing - shadow

My son, fear the Lord and the king; do not associate with those who are given to change” (Proverbs 24:21).

The wise man warned about those who are “given to change.” These are ones who want change for the sake of change. Sometimes change is good and necessary, but other times it is not. However, change is inherently part of progressivism – the idea that we must continue to move forward and not remain as or where we were. In this article, we are going to discuss progressivism in religion – what it is and why it is dangerous.
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Tradition in Worship (Season 2, Episode 2)

Tradition in Worship (Season 2, Episode 2)

 
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Tradition in Worship (Season 2, Episode 2)

Many of the things we do in worship are a matter of tradition. Some may be surprised by that admission. They hear of “traditions” being condemned in the Bible and think that all traditions must be wrong. But the fact is, not all traditions are condemned by God in His word. In fact, some are even required. There are basically three types of traditions. In this episode, we will consider each to help us see what sort of traditions are right and which are wrong.

  1. Traditions passed down by the apostles
  2. How we customarily do a thing
  3. Traditions of men

Article: Tradition in Worship

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Traditionalism and Illiteracy

Matthew recorded a discussion that Jesus had with the Pharisees and scribes on the subject of traditions. The Pharisees and scribes questioned Jesus about His disciples breaking “the tradition of the elders” by not washing hands before eating bread (Matthew 15:1-2). Jesus responded by questioning them about another tradition in which they neglected to care for their parents in need, but justified themselves by claiming to have given the money that would have helped them to God (Matthew 15:4-5). Jesus said that keeping their tradition caused them to “transgress the commandment of God” (Matthew 15:3). They had “invalidated the word of God for the sake of [their] tradition” (Matthew 15:6).

The Pharisees and scribes were blinded by traditionalism. While there was nothing wrong with their tradition to wash hands before eating bread, their tradition blinded them to the fact that no sin was committed by one not washing his hands. The other tradition that Jesus cited led to a direct violation of God’s law. Yet their tradition blinded them to their sin of failing to honor their father and mother.

Jesus connected their traditionalism with the prophecy of Isaiah:

You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (Matthew 15:7-9).

If we look at the context of Isaiah’s prophecy, we can see that Jesus likened their traditionalism to illiteracy.
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Teaching the Next Generation

Family Portrait

It has been said before that the church is just one generation away from apostasy. This is certainly true. While there are exceptions to any rule, generally what the wise man said is accurate: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). If we want children to follow the way of truth when they grow up, they must be taught the way of truth while they are growing up.

As we raise the next generation, we should focus on this question: Why do we believe, teach, and practice what we do? This is important. We are to “please [God] in all respects” (Colossians 1:10). The next generation must be taught to please God as well. But if we do not teach them how to do this, what will they do when they are grown?
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Josiah: The Courage to Restore

Take Courage

A restoration took place in the days of Josiah, king of Judah. He sought to restore the practices of the Law of Moses that had been abandoned.
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