You’re Wrong…But I Love You
Today we begin Paul’s letter to a man named Titus. Titus is similar to 2 Timothy. It is a letter written to someone who had leadership in the church and it contains a lot of material about the qualifications of leaders in the church. But Titus also contains some pretty harsh criticism of those who were not teaching/living the truth. Here in Titus 1 we read this description: 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. Paul uses words like “defiled, abominable, disobedient and disqualified”. These are pretty harsh words. They are words that most of us don’t like to use today…but should they be used?
I believe that Paul is writing under the inspiration of God, guided by the Holy Spirit. He would therefore “know” the motivations and attitudes of anyone in particular he has in mind. This is not always, and maybe even not often, true for us; unless we take the time to have a lengthy conversation with someone or have access to a large body of their writing. I think we must be careful to use words like Paul uses, however, in the right case, when the shoe fits, we should not be afraid to call out false teachers and we should not be afraid to point out an obvious lack of relationship with the living God. There are many today who profess to know God but their lives deny Him. We cannot simply gloss over that…we do the individual no favor by ignoring their behavior. The admonition to call out false teaching and to warn others of that teaching is very clear in the New Testament. This can be done in love and it really must be done.