The Epistle of Diotrephes

The Epistle of Diotrephes
[An Expose' of Contemporary Theology]

Acts 20:26-27:
"Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood
of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole
purpose of God."

What did the Apostle Paul mean when he said that he was innocent of the blood of all men? He simply meant that he had a clear conscience before God and men because he did not forsake preaching any truth of Scripture for fear of persecution or rejection. Paul 's ministry in the 1st century church was therefore an uncompromising ministry of truth - no matter the cost.

But what if Paul were here with us today? would his ministry be any different? After all, it would appear that we live in a dramatically new kind of world that is filled with many progressive technologies and ideologies. Many in our day have argued that our present world is so new, so different and so complex that what is needed for the 21st Century Christian is a newer and better battle strategy. But is our modern culture really so different from the past? If you were to strip away the laptops and cell phones would the descendents of Adam and Eve be any different? This important consideration establishes the very heart of The Epistle of Diotrephes. What the modern church needs to face is this central question: "Is there anything of which one might say, 'See this, it is new'?" (Ecclesiastes 1:10). The Scriptural answer to this question is clearly, no. But churches that ignore this important fact will run the risk of entering dangerous and presumptuous territories in an effort to keep up with our "changing world." Thus, one could almost say of the modern church that "wherever the world goes, so goes the church!" But this dangerous game of cat and mouse is beginning to reveal its true color: Bloodguilt red. By adapting itself to the world, the professing church in America is concurrently nominalizing the preaching of the whole purpose of God and as a result many of the Master's fields of wheat have become wholly infested with the enemy's tares. The Epistle of Diotrephes offers a critique to these very pressing issues in our day by showing that no matter how complicated our culture may ever become, the Christian's powerful armor never changes.

The Epistle of Diotrephes is a fictional letter designed to confront many of the doctrinal errors in the church today by affirming the truth of Ecclesiastes 1:9-10, that nothing is new under the sun. While the teachings of Diotrephes are presented as fiction, the history of his day is accurate and crucial for the reader's understanding of the culture of 1st century Rome.

Copyright Year: © 2005