|Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the converstation”
Our Bible verse for today: ““For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age.” Titus 2:11-12
Our thought for today: “Just be the church”
This morning, as we continue considering our theme of changing the tone of the conversation in our society, I want to share with you one final excerpt from my new book “Getting Along without Going Along: Biblical sexual ethics in an age of controversy and conflict”.
In his book “Love into the Light” author and Pastor Peter Hubbard draws on the lessons of Paul’s letter to Titus. Hubbard uses this example to provide Christians in our day a roadmap for dealing with the cultural shift in sexual ethics which is occurring in our society, but to do so in a way that is respectful and therefore effective.
Hubbard explains that Titus was appointed by Paul to be the pastor of the fledging new church on the island of Crete. It was a difficult task because the culture there was extremely immoral and the people were not receptive to Biblical standards of conduct. So Paul gave Titus a simple three-step process to follow:
1. Appoint elders in every town. “This is the reason I left you in Crete … to appoint elders in every town.” (1:5-16)
2. Apply sound doctrine to every situation. “But you must say things that are consistent with sound teaching.” (2:2-15)
3. Be courteous in every situation. “… be kind, always showing gentleness to all people.” (3:1-11)
Paul’s instruction to Titus helps us to understand how we are to conduct ourselves in our culture. First, as the Church, we must be a strong and confident presence in our community. Second, we are to stand firm on the clear teaching of Scripture, refusing to give-in to pressure or to compromise sound doctrine. And third, our manner is to be kind, respectful, and gentle. Ours is to be a winsome witness that draws people in rather than pushing them away.
In short, we are to simply be the church. Evangelism, along with a compelling demeanor, is the answer. The battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s. We are to simply persevere and be faithful – He will take care of the outcome. Also, history is on our side. Cultural shifts have come and cultural shifts have gone but through it all the kingdom of God has endured and continued to grow. The same will be true in our day. We just need to be faithful, bold, courageous, and kind. Just be the church.