Tuesday, December 20, 2011

3 John - Church "Sheriffs"

My head hurts just reading about Diotrephes, the Church Sheriff who "loves to be first" and kicks out people who don't agree with him. A few years ago I was standing quietly in the back of the church during a service. My back hurt too much to sit. A Church Sheriff ambled over and informed me that I would have to either sit, or leave, because it was Against the Rules to Stand (for everyone except the Sheriff, apparently). There wasn't room for both of us, podner. So I left. I hung out with another exile, a lady with a too-rambunctious kid. Played with the kid on the front lawn. We had a good time. I guess I learned my lesson. I never went back to that church again.

There is a time and place for church discipline. John himself gives an example of it in 2 John: believers must withhold hospitality (the first century equivalent of missions support) from false teachers. May I never be, in my work, family or church, a tinhorn dictator with delusions of grandeur like Diotrephes.

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