2 Peter 2 is frighteningly contemporary

Fri, 08/09/2006 - 13:32 -- James Oakley

Thanks to Chris Green and Dick Lucas in their BST commentary on 2 Peter for the following paragraph. 2 Peter 2 really is frighteningly contemporary in the scenario it describes.

Unpleasant though it may be, we ought at this stage to pause and review the poisonous strategy that will be eating away at churches even now, if Peter is right.

The target group will be gullible Christians, who are either so new or so untaught as to be ‘unstable’ (2:14).

The offer will be of true freedom, perhaps carrying the implication that the New Testament message that converted them did not truly liberate them.

That freedom will operate in two areas: freedom to think their own thoughts, so they need not submit to the authority of the apostles and their promise of the return of Christ; and freedom for self-expression, because everything €” including the lustful desires of sinful human nature €” is to be affirmed.

The whole package will be wrapped in empty, boastful words. This probably means that although it will sound attractive, closer examination will reveal a gap between (on the one hand) what these people claim publicly for their relationship with God, and (on the other) their private self-indulgence.

A non-judgmental ethic and an open-ended theology will be on offer to immature Christians, who do not know enough to refuse it and cannot see the selfishness masquerading as spirituality.

It is sharply contemporary.

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