Weeds in the Lawn

I’ve met a lot of people who have been abused by a church at some point in their lives. I feel like I’ve met more than I should have. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised though, because the New Testament devotes a surprisingly large amount of space warning us about the dangers of church. Specifically the dangers of bad leadership in the church. Sometimes we bemoan the state of the church today, and we forget that bad leaders have always been around.

The writers of the New Testament were rightly concerned about the vulnerable position people put themselves in when joining to a church community. So they warned, over and over again, that it’s up to us to be discerning and careful when it comes to the leaders we choose to follow.

That will be the subject of our text this week as we read 2 Peter 2:1-3.

As you read Peter’s warning here, what seems to be his main concern about these false teachers? The word heresy in the Greek means dividing into a sect. What would a destructive heresy look like then?

When he says they deny the master who bought them, would you find it hard to follow a person’s teaching who denies Christ outrightly? Are there other ways we can deny Jesus, and what would they look like?

Verse three has the harshest indictments in it. What does Peter say these false teachers are doing to God’s people? Do you see a connection between that and the harsh words?

Given this warning, what is our responsibility as God’s people?

That’s some stuff to chew on between now and Sunday. Hope to see you then!

2 comments

  1. I think there are probably two types of bad leaders in the church, those who have good intentions but are unfortunately mistaken and those who are deliberately deceptive. The former type of teacher may lead people off into some weird and even hurtful directions but it will probably be the latter who will be more likely to lead people permanently away from Christ. I think Peter is talking about the second type here.

    I was reading that the greek word translated here as destructive can mean “shameful” or “deliberately immoral.” This indicates that these kinds of false teachers know what they are doing. They are not simply innocently mistaken. Verse 3 tells us these false teachers are going to exploit people. I suppose this means that it is our responsibility as God’s people to be on the lookout for signs of exploitation. If a teacher, leader, pastor, whoever is attaining personal gain at the expense of his followers, this should be a red flag.

    I think we can view verses like these and gloss over them thinking they have no application to those of us who clearly do not fall into the category of “false teachers,” but we can spread our own “destructive heresies,” can’t we? There are many ways of denying Christ besides outright denial of his existence, deity, lordship, etc. We can deny him by being “deliberately immoral” or by exploiting others, as well. This can lead those around us who may have already had their own negative experiences with church to deepen their already established skepticism towards Christianity. There is a right way and a wrong way to live and if we consistently and deliberately choose the wrong way, what will those around us see in the One who we claim to be our Lord and why would they want anything to do with Him?

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