Over the past three Sundays, Rev. Joshua Patty has preached on the three letters of John, which deal with issues of the nature of love in the church and how that love is exhibited when dealing with disagreements over faithful Christian teaching.
The longest of the letters, 1 John, offers a stark assessment of reality, where there is a battle going on between good and evil. In trying to navigate a world where there is too much darkness and evil, Christians must focus on the most important of Jesus' teachings -- to love. Click here to listen to the sermon on 1 John, "The Power of Love."
2 John warns about the dangers of false teachers, especially those who suggest that Jesus was not a human, but simply some sort of high-tech image that looked human, but actually was completely God. This ancient heresy is known in the church as Docetism, but it encourages Christians to only see Jesus as God, and not -- mysteriously and graciously -- as both a human being and God at the same time. For Christians, faith is sometimes about learning to embrace these seeming contradictions, rather than trying to explain them away. Click here to listen to the sermon on 2 John, "Antichrists."
3 John encourages young congregations to support the itinerant Christian teachers who have been proven true to the teachings of Jesus -- an important way to support their good work in opposition to those who are spreading false Christian teaching. In some ways, this is an ancient justification of the denominations that have formed in the larger church through the centuries. Click here to list to the sermon on 3 John, "Christians Helping Christians."