Just as the wicked inhabitants of those ancient cities of the plain threw off all yokes of authority which would restrain them from pursuing their foul pleasures, so also did the apostate teachers.  They defiled the flesh, meaning probably that they practiced and/or encouraged others to use their liberty for an occasion to the flesh.  This has long been a problem besetting Christ’s church.  Wicked heretics who have a name to live but are dead latch on to the idea of liberty in Christ, and make that liberty their license to practice all sorts of evil.  They also despised dominion.  Some consider this to refer to the dominion of God, Who is the highest authority and the great Lawgiver.  Truly, those who teach rebellion against His law despise His dominion, no matter how much love they may profess with their mouth.  Both this, and the following phrase which refers to them speaking evil of dignities, seems to designate a general contempt for all figures of authority who would restrain them from the pursuit of their vile lusts.  Both “dominion” and “dignities” could perhaps refer to angelic authority, as the following verse seems to indicate.  But we may safely refer it to all legitimate authorities, established by God in the earth for maintenance of proper order and the restraint of evildoers.  The apostate teachers, who were reckless and outrageous in their vindication and practice of vile lusts, would brook no challenger to their supposed rights.  Civil authority they disdained as being incompatible with the freedom of being in the kingdom of Christ.  Ecclesiastical authority they held in similar disregard.  In truth, the despite they had for angelic, ecclesiastical, and/or civil authorities, only showed that the true problem was they held the authority of God in contempt.  Otherwise, they would not show such contempt toward the structures of authority He has ordained for the proper functioning of His world.

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