Tit 1:10-11 “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”
Ecclesiastes, chapter one, verse nine, tells us “there is no new thing under the sun.” While we may have found new avenues and devices to use, our carnal nature has not changed since Adam. By the will and purpose of God, there have always been those who He has called to stand for His eternal truth of love for His people freely given in Jesus Christ and revealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, there have always been men who,having some understanding of the things of God, would pervert that understanding and use it for their own gain.
Through Paul’s instruction to Titus, we find there were those in that day that were who were deemed “unruly” (insubordinate). Still today, the world is full of people who are insubordinate to the truth of God. They declare that they are no longer sinners or else that there is someway to rid ourselves of sin outside the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Many instruct men to follow them if they want to understand the will of God for their lives. Even Paul told his audience to only follow him as long as they could see that he was following Jesus (1Co 11:1). The only way to know if someone we are “following” is following Jesus is for us to be looking at Jesus.
We may look at some people and see that their thoughts and customs are so outlandish that we dismiss them immediately. However, these insubordinate, misleading, senseless talkers do not always appear as being on the fringe. Sometimes they look like earnest, sincere people wholly devoted to their religion (the circumcision). They come with great oratory and charisma; they weep and plead; they make great show of miraculous things. Their zeal and sincerity seem to make them above question.
Again, we must first look for Christ. Trust in the leadership of the Holy Spirit and pray to God for guidance. When you get to the bottom line, are these people pointing you to Christ, or are they trying to persuade you that you need them in order to see Christ? Do they tell you that He is all you need with one breath, and the next breath they are asking for your money so they can pray for you and carry on their work of saving people for Him?
Remember that when Jesus sent out the seventy, He instructed them to go in their faith in Him alone (Luk 10:4) and in another place He tells us to “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on (Mat 6:25).” Jesus is not telling us that these things do not matter; He is telling us that we should trust Him for our provision. The instruction of what we are to do about those who are only after their own gain (whether that is money, fame, prestige,etc.) is simple: we are to withstand them with the truth.
We have not been called to carry on endless debates. We have not been called to prove to men how smart we are or how well read we are. We have not been called to impress others with our presence or standing among the brethren. Our responsibility is to preach the truth of Jesus Christ and that without fail! It is His holy word that will stop the mouths of those who otherwise subvert whole houses for their own gain and glory.
May God grant us to be faithful to His call and to know nothing before His children other than Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1Co2:2)!