For the faith of those chosen of God (Titus 1:1–4) – Part 1: Identity, slavery, mission

Author’s note: My faith is in Jesus Christ; therefore, I must rest in the Scriptures, which are inspired by God, inerrant, absolutely authoritative, and utterly sufficient. I am convinced the issues churches and individual Christians are facing today, including the controversies, could been null and void if we would only submit to the word. For that reason, I am blogging through Paul’s letter to Titus. You can find all of the posts in this series here.

Along with the two canonical letters to Timothy, Paul’s letter to Titus is often referred to as a pastoral epistle, for the contents of the letter are, to a large degree, intended to instruct Titus, and by proxy local churches, how they ought to conduct themselves (c.f. 1 Tim 3:15). In other words, the pastoral epistles are about telling (no, commanding) the church how to be the church.

And I feel the need to emphasize from the outset that command part, because ours is a day in which many evangelical Christians are quick to say the Bible is the word of God. Many of those will also be quick to say the Bible is inspired by God, inerrant, authoritative, and even sufficient for us. Many say those things. But let’s be honest. Ours is also a day given to pragmatism in the church and the exaltation of feelings above all.

Pastors avoid preaching on hard topics because of how it might make someone feel (or the backlash they’ll get because of those feelings). Very few churches take the holiness of God and the sinfulness of sin seriously enough to practice church discipline. Why? More than any other reason: feelings. And as a I write this, the biggest controversy on Christian social media is about comments one pastor made regarding Beth Moore, specifically, and women preaching more generally; and I would argue that controversy would not be a thing if many in the church weren’t, whether they realize it or not, elevating feelings even above their commitment to the word of God.

Now I realize that last statement might be enough to cause some of you to stop reading, or if you’ve clicked on this through Facebook, leave an “angry” face instead of liking it. I encourage you to wait, though. Be patient.

I realize in the age of Instagram, Facebook, and 280 character Twitter posts blogging is passé. Nevertheless, what I intend to start now and follow through to completion over the next few days or weeks is walk through Paul’s letter to Titus, one of the three pastoral epistles, and think through what it says, what it means – including what it means to the church and the implications thereof. So join me, and let’s look at Titus.

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