9”He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.” (Titus 1:9–10 (ESV)
Why is it important for pastors and elders to unwaveringly preach the Word of God (2 Tim. 4:1-5 ESV)? It is because there are individuals who do not preach expositional sermons from the Word of God. They are opposed to the Word of God. The Apostle Paul identified them as those who contradict the Scriptures. They are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers.
To contradict (ἀντιλέγω; antilego) means to speak against and to oppose. In the context, Paul was referring to individuals who were against the Bible. Consequently, they were also against those who were for, and who preached, God’s Word. What is the character of these individuals who were against the Scriptures in Paul’s day and against it today?
First, they are insubordinate (ἀνυπότακτος; anypotaktos). This means they refuse to submit to God’s Word. They are rebellious and un-submissive (I Tim. 1:9; Heb. 2:8).
Second, they are empty talkers (ματαιολόγος; mataiologos). This refers to those who are foolish babblers. They engage in foolish and indecent conversation.
Third, they are deceivers (φρεναπάτης; phrenapates). They are people who mislead while they themselves are being misled. They mislead people concerning the truth. They are individuals who say wrong is right and what is right is wrong.
It is tragic enough when the worldly culture behaves in such a way. However, there are those in evangelical leadership who also live and speak in this manner. They are pastors who refuse to submit to God’s Word. They engage in indecent speech from the pulpit. They deceive their congregations. They are filled with charisma and charm but lack godly character (I Tim. 3:1-8; Titus 1:5-9). Ironically, many are pastoring mega-churches. Their brand is themselves and not the glorification of the LORD who is holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:1-4; I Peter 4:10-11). The Apostle Paul warned of such false teachers (Acts 20:17-38).
The Lowell Sun is a daily newspaper based in Lowell, MA. The following is an excerpt from an article written by Rev. Brian Loiselle. Originally published in 2005, the newspaper republished the editorial in 2019.
“These times in which we live are filled with uncertainty. Anxiety is high. People seem to be in perpetual confusion. Understandably so, since so many events continue to happen that are out of our control. War and the toll it extracts in human suffering; natural disasters that strike with unimaginable fury, not to mention the ever-volatile economic situation that exists today, leave us feeling uncertain. Gasoline prices and the inevitable rising costs make it a challenge to keep one’s family warm in the coming winter.”
“However sobering these things are, this is not what concerns me most. That rather, is the continual downward spiral of our society and its morality. We must discern these as signs of the times. The writing is on the wall. We live at a time when men call right, wrong and wrong, right. At a time when evil is called good and good is called evil.”
“Politicians and government programs are not the answer. No one, regardless of party affiliation, has the means to stop our societal decay or fix the insurmountable number of problems that exist. Especially when institutional graft and corruption permeates every level of government.”
“I believe that we have reached a point where it is obvious that mankind no longer has the means to solve the problems of our own making. If these truly are the biblical “last days,” the events that are to follow are unstoppable.”
So what can we do?
“The answer for every individual, and for us as a people, is to return to God! I believe that He is calling out to us in His mercy, pleading with us to take heed of the times in which we are living, to take our eyes off of the temporary and focus on the eternal. We all have seen what man tries do to solve our problems and correct the wrongs — and where has that gotten us?”
“The exact center of the Bible is Psalm 118:8. It is also its’ central point: ‘It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man’.”
What was true in 2005 and 2019 remains so today in 2022. Let us we no longer listen to those who are conservators of lies. Pray for your pastor to not only preach the truth but also to live the truth he preaches. Pray for one another to do the same.
Soli deo Gloria!