By Terry M. Smith
“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. The children of our chosen sister send their greetings” (2 Jn 12-13).
If the Elder John tired of communicating by the occasional letter and longed for face to face visits, what might he have thought of how the Church in Canada is isolated and connecting? We have many more technological options today, yet, as John, we long for face to face visits. Meanwhile, we connect as we can, just as John passed on greetings from members unable to be there in person. (Don’t forget, his letter might have been delivered by a church representative.)
Being together, however, wasn’t enough for him. Amid his longing for physical visits, John reminded the Church to be true to its foundation: It was to reject false teachers “who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” (7). The Church was to “walk in obedience” to the Father’s commands (6), “continue in the teaching of Christ” (9) and not show hospitality to false teachers (10).
With a click of a mouse in the privacy of our own home, the Internet gives us access to many communities, worship services, teachers, preachers, gurus, and mystics from around the world. Be careful. We must discern and abide in the person and teaching of Jesus Christ, God and man, our Saviour and Lord. “Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully” (8).