Keep the Tradition of the Church
By Joe Keim
September 21, 2017
Question from Jonathan: When someone leaves the Amish 2 Thessalonians 3:6 is used to tell them that they are making a wrong decision by leaving. How do you explain this?
Joe Keim Responds: It's very important that we understand one thing, before we even get started. That is, we must read this passage in its entire context. We are all, at times, guilty of choosing one particular scripture verse to justify our own selfish beliefs.
In the case of 2 Thessalonians chapter 3:6, we have to include verses 7-15; otherwise, it will not make sense.
Secondly, if we separate verse 6 from its context, people from all religious denominations can twist and back up whatever it is they want to believe.
2 Thessalonians 3:6: Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
Here’s some things we know from verse 6:
- The Apostle Paul is giving a command.
- He is speaking directly to brethren - those who have been born again.
- Paul’s command is, “withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly.”
- What did “disorderly” look like to Paul?
- Can “disorderly” mean whatever we want it to mean?
I believe, in order to understand what Paul meant by “disorderly”, we have to start with the ending phrase in verse 6, which says: “tradition which he received of us.”
- Not…tradition which we received from the Amish church.
- Not…tradition which people are receiving from 1,500 other religions.
God does not have multiple standards for many. He has one for all.
What is Paul's command? Paul's order? Paul's tradition?
Let’s keep reading. Paul tells us in the verses following verse 6.
2 Thessalonians 3:7-15: For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought (free of charge); but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
1. What specific tradition was Paul referring to?
Work, make a living and pay for your own bread.
2. Who should we mark, exhort and have no company with?
People who are too lazy to work. Busy bodies.
3. Who’s tradition (or example) should we follow?
What was his tradition? “Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought” and “but wrought with labor and travail night and day” and “that we might not be chargeable to any of you.”
Conclusion: to use verse 6 for any other reason but for what Paul meant it to say, is misinterpretation of the scriptures.comments powered by Disqus« Back to Articles