Rebellion teaches ruin
Strong-minded people might make money in business or a power base in politics, but they can ruin God's purpose in the church unless they are fully submitted to Jesus Christ. Paul warned Titus that the newly planted churches in Crete were being infiltrated by rebellious-hearted people; and they were leading people astray by wrong teaching. Their motives were to gain power, recognition and money. Setting themselves above the apostle's teaching, but without God's authority, they persuaded new believers that the truth was false and that error was true.
These false teachers did not just raise an intellectual debate, but made rules which enslaved whole families in religious legalism. Being good talkers, they gained financial support and also the loyalty of whole families who had committed to them. So not only the parents, but also the children, were sucked away from faith in the grace of God through Jesus Christ - into a rules-dominated, worksbased religion which Jesus never taught. There was no option but to expose these deceivers; and that was to be part of the tough assignment for the church elders, who Titus was to appoint.
Alas, false teaching, especially engulfing parents and their children, is an ever present danger to the church of Jesus Christ. Yet many church leaders are frightened to stand their ground, declaring the truth of the gospel and exposing false teaching. So Paul's call to Titus needs to be reaffirmed in our day: we cannot presume that the next generation will be faithful to Christ if we do not teach and demonstrate how to live by His gospel. Keeping to the 'narrow way' will always be a personal battle and a battle for truth in the church: that is why we need courageous leaders. So, pray for your church leaders today: be determined to trust and obey the apostle's teaching for yourself and your family. Pray too for the rising generation of preaching pastors, that they will be fully committed to teaching what the apostles taught, and will be strong to refute any teaching that is not true to the Scriptures.
© Dr Paul Adams