While commending the believers in Pergamum for their faithfulness in the face of hardship, Jesus called their attention to two things they needed to address (Revelation 2:12-17).
For one, He mentions Balaam, who was a corrupt prophet in the Old Testament who was hired by an enemy of Israel to curse God’s people.
Instead, he had a conversation with a donkey … and an angel … and changed his mind. But later he went back to his old ways and was able to cause some of the Israelites to stumble morally … which turned out to be worse than any curse.
The second issue Jesus had was with a group of people who were starting to absorb the teachings of the Nicolaitians. The Nicolaitians were a type of “pre-gnostic” group who taught that anything material (like the body) was evil, and only the spirit (like the soul) was good. This eventually led to either self-flagellation or dangerous indulgence.
Why did Jesus call this out? Because your body matters. And your soul matters. In many ways, they are inseparable. What happens to one impacts the other. When one is violated, so is the other. When one experiences healing, so does the other.
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God …
… having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
Avoid such people (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
Reject any version of Christianity that minimizes the impact of abusive behavior under the guise of quick-forgiveness. While giving the appearance of being deeply spiritual, these groups are usually disconnected from the daily realities of healing from trauma.
Especially when …
Schmidt Happens …
Next Week: “Dangerous Indulgence” > Versions of Christianity You Should Reject (According to Jesus).
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