For the past four weeks we have looked at the Didache teachings on The Way to Life. We have seen the similarities to the Ten Commandments and other parts of the Hebrew Scriptures that communities of The Way lived by. This provides to us that the community was based on the whole Scripture and not just the teachings of Jesus. Jesus came to reveal that the traditions of man had no place in God’s Word. In this short section on the “Way of Death” and the following section about being led astray show that the traditions and teachings of man that are not of God have no relevance in God’s Kingdom.
Here is the teaching on The Way of Death:
The way of death, on the other hand, is this: It is evil and accursed—murders, adulteries, lust, illicit sex, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, sorceries, robberies, false testimonies, hypocrisy, double-heartedness, deceit, haughtiness, depravity, self-will, greediness, filthy talking, jealousy, over-confidence, loftiness, boastfulness—those who do not fear God. The way of death is the way of those who persecute the good, hate the truth, love lies, and do not understand the reward for righteousness. They do not cleave to good or righteous judgment; they do not watch for what is good, but for what is evil. They are strangers to meekness and patience, loving vanities, pursuing revenge, without pity for the needy and oppressed. They do not know their Creator; they are murderers of children, destroyers of God’s image. They turn away from those who are in need, making matters worse for those who are distressed. They are advocates for the rich, unjust judges of the poor. In a word, the way of death is full of those who are steeped in sin. Be delivered, children, from all of this!
This section truly speaks for itself so I will not go into great detail. The Roman Imperial areas in which this was first found had settlements of all types of people and there were many religions that relied on idols, speaking to the dead, chance (roll of the dice), some had no moral code attached to them and allowed debauchery of all sorts.
Today’s society is filled with immoral and amoral behaviors of all sorts. It is filled with people who believe that having double standards is a normal way of living. Behavioral and life choices of many show a lack of good judgement and even though their life seems fine, on the inside they are dying a slow death.
The Way of Death is everything worldly that is not in line with God’s Will for His creation. It is the choosing to live as they see fit in their own eyes while ignoring or not understanding consequence. The Way of Death is anything that destroys the physical, emotional, or mental state of man and in a sense makes him a creature less than God’s intended design. It is the following of man-made traditions that pervert the Word of God in any way shape or form.
What about the person who believes in Christ but is not truly in Christ. The Way of Death is seeking gratitude where it is not needed, boasting of your deeds without thanking or giving credit to God, compulsive lying, not being the Good Samaritan, etc. The Christian that does not rely on Jesus nor gives thanks but is the first to put money in the offering plate so he does not have to show his faith outside the church is another example. So as you can see, the way to death is not following God’s Word.