The Letters of Paul
In this letter to his understudy Titus, Paul makes clear what it takes to organize a (sometimes troublesome) group of people into a healthy and effective church.
Peter Gabriel captured the sentiments of our time back in the year 2000 in the song Downside Up:
I looked up at the tallest building
Felt it falling down
I could feel my balance shifting
Everything was moving around
These streets so fixed and solid
A shimmering haze
And everything that I relied on disappeared
(Refrain) Downside up, upside down
Take my weight from the ground
Falling deep in the sky
Slipping into the unknown
All the strangers look like family
All the family looks so strange
The only constant I am sure of
Is this accelerating rate of change
By contrast, in this chapter Paul challenges us to stay focused on Jesus. God brings stability, direction and meaning to the intentionally Christ-focused life.
Titus, like Timothy, was a younger disciple of Paul. He is not mentioned in the book of Acts, but his name appears 12 times in Paul’s letters before this. According to Galatians 2:3, Titus was a Greek – a Gentile convert. Titus is obviously someone Paul felt he could count on – someone who could handle responsibility. Early in the letter, Paul reminds him that he left him on the island of Crete to bring more order to the churches. Cretans were naturally uncooperative, so this would be no easy task.
Americans spend about $300 Billion on entertainment each year. We obviously love to be entertained. In a culture like this, how can the church ever expect to compete for people’s attention? The answer is simple: We can’t. But happily, we don’t have to compete. The church is not here to entertain people, but to teach sound doctrine. No one can compete with us in that. It’s not easy to find it anyplace else.