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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Reprove Severely

Are We Softies?
We may be getting too soft…  The whole notion of political correctness, tolerance, coexistence, the aversion to judging, and the general desire to be nice and not rock the boat or confront – to stay comfortable, may not be serving us well.
Reprove Severely

I have already written about Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to rebuke those in his care.  Paul seems to crank up the volume in his letter to his man, Titus.

Severe Christianity?
Look at Titus 1:13.  Paul commands Titus to reprove the Cretans.  He commands him to reprove them severely.  When is the last time that has happened in your church?  Someone, anyone, was reproved severely?  What would that look like?  How would you respond?  Likely, there would be those in the community that would call the severe reprover to task for being mean spirited, intolerant, or some such – might even be asked to take his fellowship elsewhere…

Intentional Severity?
When you compare the messages of 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus a common theme emerges.  Paul is deeply, passionately, fanatically intolerant of those who spread false or unsound doctrine.  Scan those letters.  You will see reference after reference to reproving, rebuking, and exhorting those who are straying one iota from sound doctrine.  He called Peter to task in Galatians 1 for not behaving consistently with the decisions that were made at the Jerusalem council.  He was dead serious about the purity of what was being taught in the churches.

More Like Passionless Mildness…
What happened?  Where is that passion for sound doctrine today?  Who do you know that is passionate about the truth?

I have heard Christian speakers, well known at that, derisively refer to doctrine police.  It seems that Paul may have been one of those.

Eroding Foundation
Note the reason for severe reproof in Titus 1:13.  It is for the faith of the one reproved.  It seems that at some important level, sound faith is dependent on sound doctrine.

Who is minding the store?

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