Titus 1:6

Saturday, 26 May 2018

…if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. Titus 1:6

Paul now begins to define those things he is said to have “commanded” Titus in the previous verse. He starts with the qualifications of a bishop (see vs. 7) by saying, “if a man is blameless. The Greek word signifies one who is not convictable when properly scrutinized, as if in a court of law. He is found without reproach, and is therefore suited to the job.

Next, Paul says that he is to be “the husband of one wife.” Two major thoughts are to be derived from these words. The first is that Paul is speaking of males. In Christianity, women don’t have wives. A female is explicitly forbidden from such a position, as is stated in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. This then is a further, implicit, confirmation of that fact.

The second thought is that this is not speaking of having been married twice. If so, it would mean that a man in such a position whose wife died would not be allowed to remarry. This is rather speaking of polygamy. No polygamist was to be considered for such a position. What this implies, however, is that polygamy was something Paul does not forbid. And he could not. He is the Apostle to the Gentiles. His words have been carried to cultures throughout the world, many of which have practiced polygamy. There is no instruction forbidding this practice anywhere in Scripture, except for church leadership positions.

Further, polygamy was acceptable in Jewish religion and culture. He could not forbid what his own culture allowed. Rather, this prohibition is given to church leaders – no polygamy for them to be accepted. It immediately shows that Mormonism was founded on disobedience to the word of God, and its leaders were not “blameless” at all. Instead, they were false teachers who founded a false religion.

His next command is that bishops are to have “faithful children.” The word “faithful” here is probably better translated as “believing.” They are to be believers in the gospel, just as the parents are. If not believers, this would then set up obvious conflicts for them, as well as for others.

After this, he then says that the children are not to be “accused of dissipation.” It is a word used so far only in Ephesians 5:18, and which signifies “what can’t be saved” or “excess.” Thus it means a state of “spiritual wastefulness due to excess behavior and the dire consequences it brings” (HELPS Word Studies).

Finally, Paul says that the children should also not be accused of “insubordination.” This speaks of any who are not submissive, but who are rather disobedient, unruly, and unwilling to fall into line with God’s plans. They are uncooperative, have a defiant attitude towards authority, cannot be controlled, and are rebellious.

The idea here is that if a man cannot control his own family, he will then not be able to control order within the church. Thus it is an obvious disqualifying factor for ordination to such a position.

Life application: Children are a problem at times, and even the best parents may have children who stray. Paul is not looking for perfection in the appointment of church leaders, but he is looking to exclude those who have truly broken homes, beyond what any reasonable attempts to correct such failings would be considered as normal. Many sound church leaders have had children who have strayed, but who have later come back as great men of God, or fine ladies, within the church. However, for an initial ordination process, careful examination of the home life of the applicant must be very carefully considered.

Lord God, You are aware of how our children act, and how they will act in the future. You also know how our hearts mourn over those who stray into dangerous areas which only harm them. Give us wisdom in such times to know how to deal with these situations, and help us to do our very best to counsel them according to Your word. In the end, You have granted us all free will, and so help our counsel be the very best it can be so that their free will decisions will be based on what is right and proper. Amen.

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