“I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.”
3 John 1:9-10 ESV
Couple of things to point out here.
1. There are those in leadership positions in the church who are ungodly. We see that with Diotrephes. His motives are selfish.
2. This doesn’t mean that all authority in the church is bad. John asserts that he has authority and will exercise it.
3. John sees no problem in telling the reader of his 3rd letter (Gaius, an elder), what his thoughts are about Diotrephes and that he fully intends to straighten him out.
4. Cultural Christianity says “don’t judge peoples motives” but John clearly does here. We call that discernment. Jesus said, you’ll know them by their fruits.
Takeaway: church discipline is necessary at times. In this culture most “Christians” reject any type of authority. But this isn’t Biblical. We weigh our rebuke against scripture and receive it with a humble heart.
I’m routinely getting sent to the principals office 🤷♂️. But I fully trust that my pastors only motive is to see me finish the race.
The word pastor means “overseer”. As in one who watches over you, protects you, disciplines you, encourages you, disciples you. Find someone who will genuinely hold you accountable and not just whisper the kinds of heresy our hearts want to hear. Find someone who genuinely loves you enough to have difficult conversations with you, not to control you but because the thought of you falling away is worse than the discomfort of a conversation.