Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Timely Warning From the Didache

I have been teaching through the book of Ephesians lately, and while studying about the apostles and prophets in 4:11, my research led me to some interesting comments in The Didache. Although there are some strange things to be found in this document, it does give us an intriguing glimpse as to the practices of many Christians in the late first to early second centuries. Hear what this ancient document has to say about apostles and prophets (11.3-6, 12):
(3) Now concerning the apostles and prophets, deal with them as follows in accordance with the rule of the gospel. (4) Let every apostle who comes to you be welcomed as if he were the Lord. (5) But he is not to stay for more than one day, unless there is need, in which case he may stay another. But if he stays three days, he is a false prophet. (6) And when the apostle leaves, he is to take nothing except bread until he finds his next night's lodging. But if he asks for money, he is a false prophet.

(12) But if anyone should say in the spirit, "Give me money," or anything else, do not listen to him. But if he tells you to give on behalf of others who are in need, let no one judge him.

We don't have to wonder what these ancient followers of Christ would have to say about so many of today's televangelists, who constantly ask for money while trying to make it sound like the godly thing to do!

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