When it's wrong
Ever been in a situation when you knew there was something wrong going on but didn’t know what to do? I’m sure that we’ve all been there. If you are a Christian who truly stands up for the Bible, those situations may be becoming more frequent than you would like. This week at WellSpring Bible Church in Alliance, OH, in our study through the book of Titus, we talked about how there are some things that always need our attention.
If you are unfamiliar with the book of Titus, here is a very brief introduction. The book of Titus is actually a letter written by the Apostle Paul to his protégé Titus who was given the assignment to complete the task of establishing the church on the island of Crete. Within the church community on the island of Crete, there were some things that absolutely needed attention. There was a group of people who were promoting character traits and teachings that were counter to what had been revealed in the Bible. Knowing that God’s Word is Truth, Paul calls Titus to stand up for the Truth and silence the fake.
If you were to read through the letter to Titus, you would notice that in verses 5-9 of the first chapter, there is a list of character traits. These positive character qualifications describe what the ideal leader should look like. If you keep reading and look at verses 10-16, then you come to a list of negative qualities describing the character of a false teacher. There is a pretty clear contrast in the text, but sometimes it is not so clear when you have to deal with issues on the street. One of the main realities that Paul’s letter to Titus emphasizes, is what the gospel should look like with street clothes on. How does the gospel work on the street - where life gets real?
That brings us to today. What should our gospel response be to all of the cultural issues swarming around us? As Believers, we are called to stand up and protect the Truth while rebuking and silencing the false. In order to do this, we need to make sure that we know what the Truth is. For all the Post-Moderns who claim there is no Truth, it is time for them to realize that line of reasoning is exponentially impacting our culture in an extremely negative way. Whether you believe it or not, there is Truth. There is absolute Truth. It has been revealed to us by the Creator of the Universe Himself, and is available in a wide variety of languages, formats, and translations. As Believers, we need to make sure that we know the Truth of God’s Word so that it makes a transformational impact in our lives as well as all those with whom we regularly interact.
When we know the Truth, then falsehoods will be easy to identify. Believe it or not, there are those who call themselves Christian, who regularly stand up to the unbiblical values that are permeating our culture, nation, and world. All those who have responded in faith to Christ have been chosen to take a strong stand for the Truth; while at the same time, silencing the false with love and grace.
I am writing this short post to call all those who would claim to be followers of Christ to wake up to the reality that we need to lovingly and gracefully stand for the Truth. Our world is in desperate need of Believers who know the Truth of God and stand up for it. Now, here is where it gets difficult: yes, we must rebuke error and ungodly actions. But, we are to strongly rebuke those things with grace and love. How in the world are we to do that? Definitely not in our own strength, that is for sure.
Titus was living in a cultural context much like our own, where ungodly living runs rampant and false teachings have infiltrated many churches. Many around the world who hold positions of leadership do not begin to meet the character qualifications prescribed in God’s Word. Just like Titus, we are called to stand for the Truth and silence the false, all while highlighting the beauty of the gospel.
When you consider how you will respond to the people and events taking place around you, choose to respond with love and grace, standing strong for the Truth - rebuking falsehoods and error. Not so that you can feel good about it. Not so that you can build yourself up. But so that the beauty of the gospel is highlighted in your community. The gospel is beautiful. It rescues, reconciles, repairs, and redeems all those who embrace Christ by faith. As you pray for our President, national leaders, local leaders, and our nation as a whole, remember that when it’s wrong…we must stand for the Truth and silence the false with love and grace so that the gospel is highlighted, and people are drawn to Christ.