Emmanuel Okpor from Nigeria writes:
Hello Pastor Confex,
In 2 John 10-11 we read, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.”
John’s mood in these two verses always leaves me figuring out how I can apply this stern warning with regards to Jehovah’s Witnesses and other cults, especially the commands, “Don’t receive him into your house or give him any greeting.” What is it that I am not getting here?
Thank you for this good question.
If I am getting you right, you are wrestling with what seems as harsh commands. As Africans we generally love to show hospitality by greeting and opening our home to strangers whether they are fellow Christians or not. This culture should always be encouraged because the Bible encourages it too (Heb. 13:2). But there are times when we need to be cautious lest our hospitality and kindness might be interpreted as an approval or endorsement of evil. This is what John has in mind here.
If a false teacher comes to your house and you greet him (a sign of warming up to him) and let him into your house, he and others watching might view it as your acceptance of his falsehood. The false teacher might also take advantage of any hospitality shown to him to pounce on the unsuspecting and vulnerable people with his heresies. This why I believe Apostle John commands us not to greet or receive any false teacher into our home. We should always remember that false teachers are not misguided brothers but enemies of the cross of (Phil. 3:18). Certainly, we should pray for their repentance and graciously challenge them to do so, but we must never smile at their evil words and deeds.
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