This has to do with Church gone bad.
If we read 3rd John, we quickly discover that there was another letter, apparently with the same geographic address, but confiscated by what appears to be false, bad or self serving leadership, in a word, “redundant.”
Several things have my attention in this present post. The first is that, if all Scripture is “God breathed,” 2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” and I believe it is.
(I need to quickly add that this does not mean that everything that is written down is the way God wanted things to “go down.” It simply means that God wanted us to know what was said and done so that we could learn from what went right as well as what went wrong. What was said that was from Him, and what was said that was not from Him.)
In the case of “3rd John,” This means that while John’s previous letter to the church was not received by the church, John, in this subsequent letter still referred to his previous letter as being written to “the church.” I take this to mean that it was still a church, as far as God was concerned even though Diotrephes was intercepting the mail.
By now, rogue leadership has taken things much further. Things have gone so far as to no longer reflect what God called church even here in 3rd John. For this reason I have for many years now made a distinction between what God calls church, and what is calling itself “church.” What is calling itself “church” is “rogue”: Merriam-Webster On Line Dictionary:
1: vagrant, tramp
2: a dishonest or worthless person : scoundrel
3: a mischievous person : scamp
4: a horse inclined to shirk or misbehave
5: an individual exhibiting a chance and usually inferior biological variation
The Point I want to make here is that eventually the fruit of rogue leadership is rogue “church.” Even by the time that the New Testament Writings were coming to a close Rogue leadership came in, at least 5 flavors. The menu can be found in Ephesians 4.
By the way, Diotrephes got away with 3rd John.