Posts tagged Leaders
In 3 John 9-10 we say that Diotrephes had taught a false gospel. The church that John was writing too was a strong church that loved sound doctrine. Demetrius had hear that what the church was saying was good. The church that John was writing to was imitating good. They were not acting like Diotrephes, but they were acting like Christ. They were imitating good and not doing evil.
The wording of “imitating good” can kind rather phony in our very individualistic culture. It has long been noted by psychologists and sociologists that our society is becoming less and less community centered. We are turning in on ourselves. Think about our movies. Most movies focus on one character and his or her individual struggle and triumph. What does imitation say about integrity? What does imitation say about personal faith? Imitation sounds rather phony. So why is John telling this church to imitate good.
Imitation is not necessarily evil or phony. For instance, I am typing on computer about Jesus. I am not the first to do this. I know several people who are doing this, maybe at the exact time that I am. They have done this for a lot longer than I am. In a way I am imitating them. However, I am doing it in a personal way. I am doing what they are doing but for myself. I take their mantle. Christ says that we are called to carry the cross, just as he did. We are called to take his yolk. We are called to serve his truth. This doesn’t make us zombies, this makes us friends and family of Christ. We are not called to cut our hair like Christ, we are called to love as he did. We are called are not called to wear what Christ wore, we are called to serve those who needed the gospel like he did.
The key to why we should imitate is found in verse 12. John writes that the testimony of the apostles is good. The gospel, the testimony of the apostles, is found as good not just to the community but the larger church. In a way we all imitate. The songs that run through your mind are usually not yours. The movies you love you did not create. When you play football you are probably trying to throw like Aaron Rodgers or tackle like Ray Lewis. When I write I think of people like C.S. Lewis, Mark Driscoll, and Matt Chandler. I am seeking to be an imitation of them while living my life. In the same way this church that John was writing to was being called to imitate the good leaders in their church.
In an age of hyperindiviualism it is important to imitate Christ. Don’t go rogue, serve Christ. Don’t try to be something special, try to be like Christ. It’s not about us, our society, or our rights. It is all about Jesus. Serve Christ, die to yourself, and live.