Titus 1:7-16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. 12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

I really wish more Christians would stop and ponder Titus 1:7-16 a little more. If we accept this passage at face value, it’s easy to understand how it upsets the ecumenical “God is love” movement found in many of today’s churches. Discernment ministries are viewed negatively because they are deemed hateful and nonproductive when it comes to reaching the lost. The advice people who downplay biblical discernment generally give is,” Let God be the judge. Judge not! You are causing division! Lost people are watching us fight. You should pray for them in private and God will deal with them.” The problem with this advice is God has already told us in His Word how to deal with false teachers. The idea of calling false teachers out by name from the pulpit/stage makes many people very uncomfortable today. If we look at verse 11, “who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.” then how do we silence a false teacher by being silent? Can we combat errors in silence as we ignore the problem in public?

One important fact we must accept is battling a false teacher is not an easy task. The false teacher is armed with enticing words(Colossians 2:3-5), the ability to ear tickle the masses with what they want to hear(2 Timothy 4:2-4), he/she points out their good works, membership growth, and self esteem as a measure of godliness(2 Timothy 3:1-7), and he/she has the ability to draw upon mankind’s natural enmity for the true Word of God. If we use the un-churched as a measuring stick for how we deal with false teachers, then we have already lost the war before we begin the battle(1 Corinthians 2:12-14).

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