12/23 3 John 1:9

9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority.

The upside-down world of the kingdom of God is never about being first (Mark 9:35). The person who is critical of all other Christians and Christian movements is enslaved to pride. In the following two verses, John wrote that Diotrephes not only refused to acknowledge the authority of the apostles, he spoke wicked nonsense against them. He also refused to welcome others who proclaimed the gospel and put those who wanted to welcome the apostles out of the church.

Diotrephes was busy creating the cult of Diotrephes. In his swollen pride, he believed the only one who really had it right was himself. We wonder why anyone would continue to be a part of his congregation. By observing modern cults, we can see that their leaders are quite convincing. They cause the followers to believe they are part of an elite movement of God that is particularly favored. The pride of the leader infects the flock.

While we differ on interpretation of nonessential issues, believers in Jesus agree on His virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, resurrection, and Second Coming. We should welcome fellowship with any who accept these core beliefs, while agreeing to disagree on peripheral issues and to respectfully discuss our differences. Diotrephes' style based on pride is seen in numerous groups. You can spot them by their incessant accusation of others. They rarely speak of what they believe without attacking other Christians.

Consider: The humble believer listens to others and examines the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). Knowing how limited we are, we should always consider the possibility that we are in error on minor issues.