June 8, 2017 | Censorship vs. Training

“It is necessary to silence them; they overthrow whole households by teaching what they shouldn’t in order to get money dishonestly.”
[Titus 1:11 HCSB]
Titus 1:11 is often misunderstood. The proposed counter to false teaching cannot mean censorship. Otherwise, Titus chapter 3 makes no sense, nor does 2 Timothy 2, where it is hoped that false teachers can be reasoned around to biblical truth. You can’t reason with people if you are putting tape over their mouths.
Presumably what is intended is that we silence falsehood by hearing people out and refuting them effectively. A number of my friends are impressive in this. They kindly listen and then effectively show from scripture why false teaching is false. They are not ugly or argumentative, but are willing and able apologists for truth.
That either brings people around (the point in 2 Timothy) or it hushes them up (Titus 1). It’s why no atheists are willing to debate Christian philosopher William Lane Craig anymore. He gently exposes their untenable assumptions and it shuts them up.
One of the Elders in my home church sent me a great comment on this:
Censorship often has a negative connotation in our times, because it signifies the attempt or desire to control others, with or without their knowledge. Training my heart to be pure is something completely different. Self-policing of what I see and hear, and in what I participate, is wisdom taught from our earliest years: “Be careful, little eyes, what you see…” The psalmist asks, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” The answer is biblically-informed self-control: “By guarding it according to your word” (Psalm 119:9-10). Such self-control is only possible as a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), an example of “God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). – Randall Satchell