Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

January 23, 2006

I feel like causing trouble: Get your Bibles out a…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 5:10 am

I feel like causing trouble:
Get your Bibles out and check out Titus 1:5-6. “For this reason I left you at Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation [ESV: debauchery– i.e. getting drunk/stoned] or rebellion. “

As for the first part of this verse, this is what most denominations and nearly all non-denominatinal groups do when they read this verse in a ‘worship’ service: ‘if any person is above reproach, the spouse of one person . . . .” The usual excuse given for this re-write is that ” if Paul were living in America in the 21st century, he wouldn’t have written this passage as he actually did, but would have written it the way I re-wrote it.” This passage is un-preachable in the vast majority of churches in the U.S. without the re-write.

Aside from the sheer audacity of re-writing scripture, the rationale that underlies doing so – namely, the idea that if Paul had lived in the 21st century, etc. – exposes a lot about your belief regarding the Holy Spirit’s active inspiration of the writers of scripture. Was the Holy Spirit in a bind here? Were his hands tied here? Was he in a connundrum on this point? Did he ask himself “what if 2000 years from now society has changed? How can I come up with one doctrine that suits all eras? Oh dear, what do I do? Oh, what the heck, let’s just let this policy stand for now and trust the non-apostolic critics to come up with their own ideas as the regnant winds of change demand.” I ask you, is this not, in its very essence, what today’s rewriters of scripture are saying?

As for the second half of the verse, it is clear that if my father had been an elder at any time in the first several years of the seventies, he should have turned himself in to the board and resigned, such a profligate I was (through absolutely no fault of the elder, let me add). What if the pastor has alcoholic children? Should he resign? One thing said pastor wouldn’t do is preach from this text.

I tell ya’, church would be a whole lot easier and a lot more fun if we didn’t have that Bible getting in the way.



  1. Good thing I didn’t know about Titus 1:5-6. What a dillema for me.

    That sorta reads, before one is an elder, not after one is an elder.

    Comment by Anonymous — January 23, 2006 @ 2:11 pm

  2. The time posted must be PST. Not the time where poster resides.

    Comment by Anonymous — January 23, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

  3. You better be careful, or you’re going to get yourself in trouble with the CRC!

    I remember hearing from the wife of a PCA pastor who told of how she&he submitted themselves to their session of elders, confessing that, since their son was in the state you describe, the session had the right to remove them as pastor.

    The session just said that, since they watched the boy grow up, and the parents raise him, that the parents had done everything they could, and it’s the boy’s (young man’s) own fault that he turned from the way he was raised.

    At some point, you gotta cut the cord; kids become free adults and parents can’t be held responsible.

    Comment by son1http://ruberad.wordpress.com — January 23, 2006 @ 11:12 pm

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