Another conflict with the writings of John

The Daily Bible readings have moved on to 2 John today (December 6), and I've got another "issue." Specifically, 2 John 1 9-11:

9 Everyone who does not abide in the teachings of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10Do not receive into the house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching; 11 for to welcome is to participate in the evil deeds of such a person.

This seems to be to be in direct conflict with Jesus' teachings. Even if you grant that these people are participating in "evil deeds," didn't Jesus say that it was the sick who need a doctor, rather than the healthy?
The phrase "go beyond" is particularly troubling for me. What does it mean to "go beyond?" Don't John, and Paul, and all of the other members of the early church "go beyond" the teachings of Christ by applying them to situations not specifically covered by Jesus during his ministry on Earth? I don't believe that Christians are called to have a "spiritual lobotomy," but rather are called to think for themselves. Two thoughtful, sincere, authentic Christians can and often do hold diametrically opposite views on spiritual and temporal issues, including "hot buttons" like abortion and homosexuality.



I agree that there is a conflict between this notion of avoiding people who do not believe and Christ's actions of welcoming anyone and everyone no matter what. I thought that was what we were supposed to loving toward everyone regardless of their beliefs. If this is not the case then a whole lot of churches are messing up by sending missionaries all over the world to convert people.Anne

thanks for the commment dad... and yes it was VERY frustrating ... i'll get over it soon.. just not today

The context of the letter: it was written concerning "gnostics" and their involvement with the church (body of Christ). Gnostics rejected the consistent theme of the Bible: innocent blood shed for the atonement of sins (Genesis to Revelation), but instead taught a totally different doctrine of salvation, namely that we are saved by our personal knowledge without any need for atoning blood. Gnostics attributed this revelation to "superior knowledge" directly relayed to them from God.

The rejection of that and the rejection of the "physical nature of Jesus" is "going beyond". John, Paul, and other early church fathers may have expounded on Jesus' teaching, but they did not teach anything diametrically opposed to Christ's teaching.

This is not about casual visitors, sinners, non-believers - this is about false teachers or Anti-Christian Propagandists. ( I believe this was part of Satan's plan to try and destroy the early church thru watering down or changing the Gospel.)

If you know that is who they (Gnostics - religious teachers) are, then DO NOT receive them in your home, NOR even greet them. That is the command of this verse.