1 John 2:20-21 and Puristic Theology
I think often when Lordship Salvation is being promoted 1 John is mined for what seem to function as Purist proof texts. IMO, From the Head of the Moor has recently employed 4:2 in that type of use. To be fair, Jonathan does believe that 1 John teaches certain “tests of life” and apparently thinks 4:2 is a strong verse to demonstrate that theme. I don't and see much of 1 John as working against this "tests of life" idea.
Zane Hodges thinks the purpose of 1 John was to warn against false teachings (of pre-Gnostic heresies)--ideas that he didn’t want to be given a hearing in his churches. He thinks that John teaches that false doctrine is a direct threat to fellowship with God (1:3). So for that purpose, he gives tests of fellowship (If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth 1:6) and gives instructions on how to abide in fellowship with God so that his listeners can be bold at the Judgment Seat of Christ. (And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming 2:28; Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world 4:17)
Hodges suggests that the letter’s primary recipients were the inner circle of leaders, and that it was meant to be read to the entire congregation(s) as well. He believes John may have been intending to strengthen the hand of the leaders (who he believed had a fully sufficient knowledge of Christian doctrine [2:20] and had overcome Satan’s tactics [2:13]), by bolstering the confidence that the church had in those leaders so that the false teachers would be shut out and fail to gain a hearing in the churches. That would make sense of verses like this:
But you [the leaders?] have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 2:20
I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 2:21
These seem like unusually optimistic ideas to convey to an entire church. I would be curious to know how Purists like Jonathan and Centuri0n fit verses 20 and 21 into the idea that the purpose of 1 John is to advocate the tests of life.