Skip to main content

Cold Shoulder



Have you ever gotten the cold shoulder?  Or given it?  It can feel brutal, humiliating, and dehumanizing!
Would you believe the scriptures actually tell us to give the cold shoulder?  Check out 2nd John.

2 John 1:10-11 (ESV) - 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.

That is some strong language eh?  Don't let them in, don't even say hello!  And if you greet them, to be polite, you are as bad as they are!  What teaching could possibly be so important, so vital, that we should drop all pleasantries and give someone the cold shoulder?  John tells us, just a couple versus earlier, though it is easy to miss due to the way Greek translates into run-on sentences and complex paragraphs.

2 John 1:5 (ESV) -And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. 

Over and over again the scriptures highlight Love as the greatest teaching.  John even goes so far as to say that God is Love in 1 John 4.  Yet I continue to encounter people who have heard nothing but a gospel of hate and judgement from their churches.  They have been the victims of these false teachers that John warned us about.  Notice that John is not instructing us to give the cold shoulder to just anybody, but specifically to teachers.  In context, he was also writing to a church that met in a home, so he was telling them not to let these false teachers into the church. What would happen if the church universal cleaned house, took this seriously and removed any teacher that valued judgement over Love.  Would the next generation not have a whole new view of the church?

Prayer: God, help us to value Love above all.  We all fall into the trap of judgmental thinking occasionally, help us to be free of it.  Help us to renew our churches and focus on Love. Provide us with teachers that will point us towards you.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Divine | Shame | Humans

Shame is often the only thing between our creator and us. Our reading this week is from Job 14:5-6: A person’s days are determined;      you have decreed the number of his months      and have set limits he cannot exceed. So look away from him and let him alone,      till he has put in his time like a hired laborer. Job is struggling with shame and judgement.  He is wondering why God is spending time paying attention to him, a tiny speck in the great universe, a blink of an eye in all eternity.  Why would God waste time casting a glance at us, let alone fostering us, raising us, and disciplining us?  He cries out "Why won't God just let us be, to live out our miserable existence?" A friend shared a post with me on Facebook this week.  It was a video of her dog who had stolen her donut.  The dog had been under the bed for two hours before she started the video.  The video begins with a clear view of the dog and the uneaten donut under the bed.  The dog casts glances from s

Justice & Privilege

The narrative lectionary reading for this week begins a 5 week series on the book of Job.  We focus on Job 1:1-12.  This first section sets the background for the parable.  It is important to note that this is clearly a parable, not a historical text.  This means we must look beyond the described events and towards a deeper meaning within the text.   The story goes like this: ___ There was once a man who thought he was good, an upright citizen, a religiously devout man.  He made good choices and avoided all forms of evil.  He was so pious that he made sacrifices in the name of his family members in case they had unknowingly sinned.  He had great wealth and privilege, and so this was evidence of his goodness.   God was so pleased with this great man, named Job, that he bragged about him to the accuser.  The accuser objected "Of course Job is good, you have provided him with wealth, power, and protection. He would curse you if he was not so privileged."  At this, God takes the

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t