For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. (Titus 1:10-11)
Titus’s task was clear. He was not to ape the fashions of that society. He was to teach them to be different. Not only that—but with regard to the young men in particular (since Titus himself was a young man)—he was to be a different kind of example from anything they had ever seen. He wasn’t supposed to crawl into society’s sewer and join the fraternity of Cretan bad-boys. He needed to model dignity, purity, integrity, reverence, and sound speech.
Doctrine per se is not extraneous or superfluous, despite what our postmodern friends try to tell us. Some truths are vital—especially the rich tapestry of truth at the heart of the gospel. Some truths are so vital that if you deny or try to alter them in any way, you’re anathema—accursed. And some lies are so dangerous that as Paul says in verse 11, the mouths of those who utter such lies “must be stopped.”
We need to understand the description of false teachers. We need to know who we’re looking for to silence. We need to understand the proper reaction. We reprove them, and then we turn away and reject them completely. And we need to understand God’s evaluation of them, that their whole approach is wrong. They think you can clean the inside by what you do on the outside. The Bible says you have to clean the inside by coming to Christ, and that takes care of the outside. They reverse that, and that’s why they are detestable, disobedient, and worthless to produce any noble spiritual accomplishment. They’re good for nothing. “As for you, speak the things suitable for healthy teaching.” That’s the call of God for those in leadership in His church.
Excerpts from John MacArthur series “Men Who Must Be Silenced”.