The Two Voices of The Pastor-2
Refuting The Enemies of The Truth
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Text: Titus 1:9-16
In my last message we looked at the first of The Two Voices of The Pastor. With his first voice, as it were, he is to exhort believers to be sound in doctrine. That is, he is to teach the church healthy doctrine. The second voice of the pastor is to be used to drive away wolves and refute the enemies of the truth. That is, refute the false teachers who are spreading unhealthy doctrine.
A Pastor not only has the obligation to preach and teach sound doctrine to his flock, but he also must be able to defend the Word, refute false doctrine and drive away the enemies of the Truth.
The Second Voice of The Pastor Is Used To Drive Away The Wolves and Refute The Enemies of the Truth
Turn in your Bibles to Titus 1:9b "that he
may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the
gainsayers." The place I want to begin today is by defining what
a gainsayer is. We do not use that word today. A
gainsayer with relation to the New Testament is a person who is
obstinate and who contradicts, opposes, rebels against, or denies,
the doctrines and teachings of God’s Word. A gainsayer is opposed to
sound biblical doctrine. A gainsayer twists and manipulates things
for personal interest.
The Greek word is translated unruly is anupotaktov - anupotaktos an-oo-pot’-ak-tos, which means, disobedient to authority, out of order, rebellious, disruptive, out of control – unruly.
These gainsayers, false teachers, would not submit to the authority of the Word of God or the authority of Paul or the local church pastor. They had their own agenda! They served their own interests not God. Old Dr. John Gill said, beware of those "who will not submit themselves to them that have the rule over them, nor attend to the admonitions of the church, nor be brought into any regularity and order."
The phrase vain talkers is just one word in the Greek mataiologos - mataiologov (mat-ah-yol-og’-os) which means empty talk devoid of truth that does not bring forth results.
Vain talkers are very persuasive. They know how to oil slippery words and cleverly disguise their falsehoods to make them seem to be true. They make sure to add plenty of biblical language so it appears that what they are saying is biblical. However, they are like those Paul warns about in Romans 16:18 are not really serving the Lord Jesus at all but advancing their own agenda, "and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
The word translated deceiver is frenapathv - phrenapates (fren-ap-at’-ace) and it means a mind deceiver, a seducer. These false teachers are like those that Peter spoke of who with "with feigned (Gk. Plastos. Molded) words make merchandise of you" (try to sell you on their false teachings)." 1 Peter 2:3. These deceivers will not endure sound doctrine. And, just as in Paul’s day, there is no lack of an audience. Why, because people like their ears tickled! (see 2 Timothy 4:2-4 & 1 Timothy 4:1-2). That’s what is behind the "seeker friendly" or rather the sinner friendly church growth movement today. Instead of changing the world, they change the church so that sinners feel at home. The first thing to go is the Godly music. It is replaced with worldly music. The next thing to go is preaching against sin. Sermons on Hell, separation, repentance, holiness, judgment ("judge not" they say quoting Matthew 7:1 but they ignore John 7:24) and sanctification disappear. They are replaced with talks and entertainment that are designed to make you feel good. And, you can be sure there will be a large dose of psychology mixed into the fare. Friends, that’s nothing but deception! The tragedy is, thousands of solid Christians are being ostracized and purposefully driven out of these purpose driven churches. They do NOT want people in those churches who oppose worldliness! That brings me to my next point.
"One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretans are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies." Titus 1:12
You can tell Paul was well read. Here he quotes Cretan poet Epimendies who was a highly respected Greek intellectual of the 6th century B.C.
Do you remember who Paul is talking about? He is talking about the gainsaying spiritual teachers; the popular false teachers of the day. Instead of living godly spiritual lives they lived carnal worldly lives and the crowd loved it. Paul, quoting a respected Cretans poet describes these "spiritual" leaders. They were liars. This is a translation of the Greek word qeusthv - pseustes (psyoos-tace’) which means one who lies and falsifies. This was not an occasional practice but a habitual practice, because the text says they always lie.
Lying was not the only problem. They are characterized as "evil beasts." That means they were behaved like animals. As one commentator put it, "living solely on the level of sensual appetites and passions." Gainsayers are self-centered, rude, cruel. Clarke says, they were "ferocious and destructive in their manners."
They are also called "slow bellies." Slow means lazy. Bellies means gluttons. They were lazy gluttons. Biblical Greek scholar Robertson says, "both words give the picture of the sensual gormandizer." That was not much help. I looked up the word and here is what it means - GOR'MANDIZE, v.i. To eat greedily; to swallow voraciously. These Cretan false teachers hated to work and loved to eat. They were self-centered, self-indulgent, greedy, lustful, and overfed. They were carnal and worldly and therefore were very popular with the carnal-worldly crowd.
Paul sums up their character in verse 16 – "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Titus 1:16
What’s a pastor to do? Look back for a moment at verse 9 - the word convince. It means to refute. Satan sees to it that there are always false teachers within the professing church or who are influencing the professing church, who try to sow false teachings to cause trouble and bring confusion into the congregation. Paul warned the Church of Ephesus that they could expect this to happen after he left. We read in Acts 20:29-30 "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."
That’s exactly what Paul is telling Titus in chapter 1:10-11 & 16 – "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake."
A pastor must not tolerate false doctrine and teaches, and his people must not to tolerate it either. He needs to warn the people by exposing the false doctrine. But, by the world’s standard, and sadly by the standard of many compromising Christians, to expose and denounce false doctrine, and especially false doctrine taught under the guise of evangelicalism, is judgmental, divisive, unloving and pharisaical. As one preacher put it, "Compromising Scripture in order to make it more palatable and acceptable—whether to believers or to unbelievers is not ‘speaking the truth in love’ (Ephesians 5:15). It is speaking falsehood and is the furthest thing from godly love. It is a subtle, deceptive and dangerous way to contradict God’s own Word."
The 2 voices of the Pastor are for – 1)
Teaching The Sheep The Truth 2) Refuting The Enemy of The