To the Pure & Defiled
To the Pure & Defiled
by Josh Caudill
Titus 1:10-16 is a difficult passage. It speaks rather bluntly about rebuke, and the role of the Christian in rebuking those who seek to distort the Good News of God's Kingdom for personal gain.
This passage is difficult because it calls us to confrontation, and confrontation is uncomfortable. But confronting another person isn't always difficult. Confronting our own shortcomings, however, is.
I don't mean to overlook the parts of this passage that clearly call Christians to stand for truth in the face of distortions of God's message, but that's not the difficult part here. Most of us find it all too easy to point fingers and to establish the divisions between "us" (those who are pure) and "them" (those who are defiled). The ease with which we make these distinctions is troubling, and it is the very reason why we must begin by assessing ourselves.
"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:5)
When we pretend that we are beyond error, we commit idolatry. We are all human beings, and we are, thus, all fallen and prone to sin.
In Titus 1:15, Paul tells us "To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure." I think this is the point when we see that the rebuke must turn inward, for we must place ourselves into one of these categories. We'd like to think that we are the "pure," but to the pure, all things are pure. If all things are pure, then how can we stand above those who we believe are distorting the Gospel and condemn them entirely--without grace? If we desire to be pure, we must see that God is redeeming the entirety of His creation. We must see the purity in all things and long for its restoration. This is not accomplished through hateful and vitriolic denunciation of falsehood, but by prayer and grace.
To the unbelieving, nothing is pure. Do you see unbelief in your life? When I look around me and pretend that those who are distorting or misinterpreting the Gospel are beyond redemption, I am not believing in the power of God's grace and mercies.
Not even Peter had the whole story right--he was rebuked by our Lord as satan. And how did Jesus rebuke Peter? He laid his life down on that wooden cross.
Take some time to pray this week, asking God to reveal unbelief in your life and to redeem it. How can you lay your life down for those who do not understand the fullness of the Good News?
Grace & Peace