“…for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”
The word “for” gives the reason for the sharp prohibition of verse 10 – “Do not greet them.”
he who greets him shares in his evil deeds
To show hospitality to false teachers is to partake of their heresy. The word “shares” conveys close union and active participation. This word never carries casual or superficial connection.
Showing hospitality to heretics helps propagate their error because it gives credibility to their teaching.
Our generation is tolerant of heresy, whereas God says that we are not to have tolerance for it at all. Biblically, love has its limits. It is not love to extend hospitality to heresy.
In his last book, The Great Evangelical Disaster, Francis Schaffer wrote that evangelicals of our generation would accommodate truth to fit the culture of our generation, thus subverting our own beliefs. Many are too ready to engage in doubt even about the verities of the faith. They have a shrinking sense of the peril of heresy.
The issue here is not an unloving attitude toward heretics but decisive dealing with error. When Christians deviate from the truth, they defect from God who is the truth. God is not tolerant of differences in terms of content of truth. God expects Christians to be courteous and tolerant in terms of mode.
Ga 1: 8 “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
1 Co 16: 22 “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!”
2 Co 6: 14 “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
‘I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.’”
Ep 5: 11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”
1 Ti 6: 5 “…useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”
2 Ti 3: 5 “…having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
Those who give credibility to teachers participate in their teaching, whether good or evil. If we wish heretics well, we fellowship with their heresy. We fellowship in their teaching. Instead of rebuking them, we unintentionally assist their principles and spread their teaching.