Restoring sound doctrine as the main task by the man of God
“Silencing the godless in today’s Crete”
Titus 1:10 -16
The need for elders to hold firm to apostolic doctrine is a permanent requirement for the office and function of eldership, and this need is particularly strong when false teachers arise to threaten the health and purity of the church. This was the case in first-century Crete where its young churches were in desperate need of godly, biblically literate men, theologically sound pastor-teachers, to stem the tide of error that was beginning to rise.
The situation as described in vs. 10-16, is one of the compelling reasons why we have to have elders who are qualified by the qualities in 1:9 – men who hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it was taught, so that by sound teaching they will be able to encourage others and refute those who contradict this message. Why? 10 Because many are rebellious and full of empty talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision…
The apostle describes the unfinished work in Crete in general, and specifically giving the reason why finding qualified elders is crucial. The church is in trouble because there are lots of bad people out there. Many are liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons. They are rebellious, empty talkers, deceivers. Their influence is corrosive; they are upsetting whole families, teaching bad things, and so they must be silenced, especially those of the circumcision (Jews).
THE CRETAN GOSPEL CHALLENGE FOR TODAY
They have to be silenced even in our day – that is the action required of us from this text. Now, we cannot go around cutting out the tongues of people whom we disagree with, or whom we deem to propagate falsehood. God has decided that we share space with them at this time, before He eventually silences them. How are we going to do that? By keeping within this epistle, there are at least three evident ways:
First, we silence them by revoking their right to teach or speak where we can influence that. That is to say, we give them no platform or opportunity. We take away the privilege of teaching.
Secondly, we silence them by overpowering them with the truth of God. When we speak the truth so clear and precise, so apparent and so powerful, those who have been teaching error run to hide in the embarrassment of their ineptitude.
Thirdly, we silence men who must be silenced, by means of holy living. Divine truth produces holy living. Peter, 1 Peter 2:15 says, "You silence the foolishness of ignorant men by your holy conduct." If those who teach truth live unholy lives, they contribute to the chaos. Because the question is going to be: “If you are so right, why are you so messed up?
Therefore, there are three ways to silence them. One is by taking away their opportunity, taking away their platform to speak. Two is by overpowering th