Christian vs. Christian: Hebrews 10:24-25 Part VIII
This week I am continuing with my series of posts on Christian behavior toward other Christians (please read my introductory post for why I am posting on this topic). However, I think this will be my last post which seeks to reconstruct Dr. Robert Dean’s Doctrine of One Another. Next week I will finish this series and provide some final thoughts on this vital doctrine.
This week I have reconstructed what I think is Robert Dean’s eighteenth point in his Doctrine of One Another (I think he incorrectly numbered one of his points about half way through and our numbering has never matched since).
I have spent some time looking for commentaries on this verse but I haven’t found any that add to the sense of the verse that you can’t get just by reading it. Here is my understanding, and pretty much everyone else’s, of this verse: Christians! Be hospitable to each other and, just because you have been hospitable, you don’t get to complain about it. There, that wasn’t so bad was it?
I really don’t think I can add too much to that. Just because the verse is short and the meaning plain doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. We need to be hospitable toward each other and do so graciously and without complaint. I have seen this violated time after time and I believe it is terribly damaging to the Church. In case any of you are wondering about me, I have violated this command many times but not so much lately. Maybe I’m starting to take this to heart which would be a very good thing.
At the end of Dr. Dean’s Doctrine of One Another he adds in three prohibitions as to how we are supposed to treat each other. I am going to list all three prohibitions and provide some commentary on the last one. These should be self explanatory but they are also hard to actually do but that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Don’t criticize one another [allēlōn], brothers. He who criticizes a brother or judges his brother criticizes the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. (James 4:11)
Here is Wayne Binnicker’s commentary on this verse. I think this is well worth remembering:
Paul commands (Imperative mood) all pastors to make sure (Durative Present tense) that nobody in their congregation gets involved in revenge motivation. Believers are not to return evil for evil (Culminative Aorist tense), even if the circumstances seem to justify such behavior (Potential Subjujunctive mood) in the eyes of men. Retaliation for real or perceived injury (Latin: malice) is not the Christian standard. This is a prohibition for believers in the congregation; do not confuse this command as referring to legitimate judicial authority in a courtroom. If somebody has done you wrong, the natural response is to retaliate, to get even at all costs. That may be what the Godfather might do, but that is not what God the Father wants us to do.
Commentary on 1 Thessalonians by Wayne Binnicker