All Things Pure, or Not?


From Pastor’s Desk: 1-10-16

Titus 1:15-16 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

***

Sadly, there are too many people who come under the last sentence of this verse sitting on church pews every Sunday. Maybe hiding from everyone the “real” person(s) they are during the week. I’m reminded of Isaiah 29:13, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. And their worship of me amounts to nothing more than human laws learned by rote” – NLT.

Isn’t it peculiar how people can “worship” with a certain style that belies who they really are? Pretentious to say the least, they do all they do with great flair, and those around, unless discerning, tend to think they are the spiritual ones. Seems to me I recall Jesus talking to and about some folks that were acting the same way in His day. In Matthew 5:20 He said, “…I warn you — unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!” Referring, of course, to the way the Pharisees would stand on street corners, dressed in all their religious regalia, making sure the people knew they were fasting and with loud prayers portraying what I call “Religiosity”. And yet, He knew their hearts were far from Him.

But as bad as this, I think there may be a “badder” one, and that is Pseudo-humility. Of all the intolerable attitudes this is maybe the most sickening. Now, Pharisaical actions may very well be a result of Pseudo-humility. Again, pretentious, portraying something they’re not.

While one cannot see in the mind to detect whether it is corrupt, there are always those telltale signs that give them away. It is vital that we be aware of “wolves in sheep’s clothing” because much grief can be cast upon a church where anyone of this caliber is.

Are we to judge their salvation? No, of course not. But we, the church, are to judge those matters that pertain to a peaceful, united, close-knit fellowship. The apostle, Paul, writes in no uncertain terms that we are “…with-draw from those walk disorderly” in the fellowship. (See 2 Thes. 3:6). One modern translation renders it “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us (NIV). However, I submit the original word is ἀτάκτως ataktōs (at-ak’-toce); irregularly (morally): disorderly.

Ataktos meaning what it does, then, can we not assume that verse goes beyond “Idleness” to which modern translations refer? Paul, being the author of Titus and co-author of 2 Thessalonians, knew what it was to deal with minds and consciences that were corrupt. Be assured that Paul was not writing to, although including, sinners who did not know anything about the Lord. He was writing to the church.

The question before us should be, “Which category do I fall into?” To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.

Be aware! Pretentiousness will show up for what it is. Admittedly, it may not be immediately, but eventually it will show up.

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