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“No, Pigs in the parlor please”

Mar 02 2020

Titus 1:1

“No, Pigs in the parlor please”

Having just returned from a two-week mission trip reminded me a bit of Paul’s letter to another young protégé Titus, who was a Greek and came to Christ in the city of Antioch. As most of you know the bible wasn’t complied chronologically, and this letter doesn’t fit into the time after 2nd Timothy but rather it would fit in between 1st Timothy and 2nd. Titus had been left on Crete the largest of the Greek Islands some 160 miles long by 60 miles across that lay 100 miles off the coast of Greece. The church likely was started after Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome. After being released as recorded in the book of Acts, Paul desired to go to Spain and apparently did so. Most scholars believe that he took Titus and they stopped in Crete where churches were planted. Based upon the fifth verse Titus was left there to “set in order the things that were lacking”.

            Paul gives us further understanding of the people of Crete in chapter 1 verse 12 where he quotes ancient writers of his day saying that the lot of them are, “always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” and Paul affirms the truth of this in his words of verse 13 saying, “This testimony is true”. Throughout this letter Paul tells of these Cretan characteristics and put them in stark contrast to the expected transformation and now new Christian characteristics. They may have been a wicked and corrupt society, made up of “liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons” but in Christ they weren’t to remain in their former condition. Though Paul’s words described the society that made up the island of Crete the context of the passage is not aimed at correction of society but correction of the church. As I read this little three chapter book the theme reads much like a Maintenance Manual where step by step instruction is given to the building superintendent how to fix what is broken, clean up what is a mess and generally provide a daily maintenance schedule. When the church is overwhelmed with problems the usual cause is the world is invading the church because the church has ceased in infiltrating the world. When folks try to change the way, people are by means of the way they behave, through education, legislation, entitlements none these means produce lasting change. If you bring a pig into the parlor, it won’t change the pig, but it won’t take long before you won’t recognize the parlor. It is never enough to change people’s behavior you must change their very nature. That is what we experienced is our mission’s trip in the Dominican Republic as we saw each time that the church was open to this transformation.                                             

        

This has been Pastor Dale, Blessings!