Titus 2 Q&A
Here are some brief answers to our questions from our Sunday evening service. If you would like to discuss more, please call me or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I commit some of these sins and struggle to overcome them, can you suggest what I can do? How can I get help?
We always find struggles in saying No to ungodly behaviours. How can we get help from the Holy Spirit?
Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus - what he has done for us on the cross, and what he will do for us when he returns, is really key to managing our daily struggles and keeping them in perspective. However, we often can't do this walk alone. It's really important to be in fellowship with others who you can share your struggles with and who will help you. God gives us the gift of prayer, he lives in us by his Holy Spirit, but he also provides us with each other. Never give up walking away from sin. This is our daily walk - away from sin and closer to Jesus. And when we fail, we keep going. Keep saying no to ungodliness and when you fail, get up and keep saying no again. The Holy Spirit's power in our life should not be minimised. He is truly God with us each day. Listen to him by praying and waiting for answers. God shapes our thinking and our minds by his Spirit.
For those struggling in particular with pornography addiction, which is certainly an issue for many, let me suggest two possible resources:
accountability solutions: https://x3watch.com/
Are the commands to slaves/masters applicable to employees/employers today? Why or why not?
In some ways yes, Paul was not trying in one letter to dismantle the whole slave trade. But he was teaching Christians who live in a broken and sinful world how to make the very most of their lives under Jesus, even in slavery. Slavery was more than a full-time job and was NOT what God intended for humans. Being an employee and working IS what God intended for us - to work the land and not be idle. So there is a difference. But many of the principles are the same. Be honest. Do not rip off your boss or your employee. Reflect Jesus in your life, even when you are being mistreated. But this doesn't mean we should be happy to be taken advantage of. We still must seek justice. If other people do evil to us, that doesn't give us permission to reciprocate with evil. We want to make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive (verse 10).
If we are being abused can we as a Christian walk away from our relationship.
Yes. Relationships are broken when abuse enters into them. A marriage, in particular, is a covenant. An abusive person in a marriage relationship has broken that covenant. They have broken trust. They have been unfaithful. And while the whole subject of divorce can be looked at in more detail at another time, I would encourage anyone in an abusive relationship to seek safety first. Seek help from friends or your pastor. No one should remain in a relationship that puts them in danger. This is the same for husbands, wives, children, girlfriends, boyfriends, or even in the workplace.
Please check out especially our post on Pastoral care for those affected by domestic violence: https://stphils.org.au/posts/domestic-violence-awareness
And please reach out to your pastor if you or someone you k ow is in danger or is being abused. We want to help.
What about the women who don’t have a husband?
This chapter does seem to focus on what is, at the time, the majority - married women and men. Although there is nothing to say that the instructions to the young women or men do not apply to single people also (apart from where it involves husbands and children of course!) The application that Paul is offering is particular to issues in Crete. We need to then look at this and consider how much related to us today and to married, single, those with children, those without, those employed, and the unemployed. I do think the takeaway is very similar today - we do need to consider slf-control as a big issue in our culture. Saying "no" to ungodliness is the ultimate message here. Paul encourages us that whatever our station in life is, we need to be reminded of the grace of God - Jesus at the cross, and Jesus when he returns. This should be our life focus and helps us to say no to ungodliness.
Does sacrificially mean to do without? If so, would that include not striving for promotion in employment or voluntary roles?
Yes. That's a great example. Sometimes we need to put aside worldly gain to care for our relationships. We are not serving others well by immersing ourselves in personal gain all the time. We do have to set a limit. What do I really need? What is good for me? What is good for the people around me? My family, friends, church? There's NOTHING wrong with ambition. It is really great that we have Christians in key positions in the world because they have worked hard with lots of ambition to get there. But each of us needs to ask ourselves - is this good for me? My family? My faith? Sometimes we need to sacrifice some of our ambitions because it is not good for us or others.
Did the younger men only get one command because they were doing well with everything else or to keep it simple for them?
Haha! Yes, I think perhaps that's right. Having been a young man, I can tell you that most of my issues in life were around self-control. But isn't that true for many of us, male and female? Although, verses 7-8 AMY also be specifically speaking to Titus and the young men. Set them an example - doing good, integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech - perhaps this was also aimed specifically at the young men and not generally for everyone.
Is abortion an ungodly behaviour? Can a rape victim take abortion?
This is such a difficult question, and also reminds me of the question from a couple of weeks ago about the impact of the USA abortion laws (Roe V Wade case).
The saddest part of abortion is that it happens. Regardless of the causes and reasons for any abortion, abortion is the end of a human life prematurely. Whether it happens because of a medical condition of the mother, father or child (which is certainly not uncommon), or because of a parent choosing an abortion because they do not feel able to raise a child, or because of the mental and physical health impacts of a conception through rape, or because abortion may be required to save the life of a mother, abortion is always a great sadness.
As a Christian, I am "pro-life". This means that rather than sitting in judgment on people who have had an abortion, or are considering an abortion, I ask myself - what can I do to support life in this circumstance? How do I support the child and the parent(s)? If a single mother, for example, is considering abortion by choice because she feels unable to raise a child, how can I offer to help so she has other options? If a woman has conceived a child through rape, how do I see that she receives the best help and support through this time? We cannot simply say "abortion is wrong" and walk away. Abortion is the result of a sinful and broken world. The question we must ask is: What am I doing in response?
Those who I know who have gone through abortion have often not felt well supported before, during or after. There is a great deal of silent suffering that should move us to approach this with love and empathy rather than judgement.
Australia has one of the highest rates of abortion in the world. Yet we do not speak about it. Thank you to whoever asked this question. We do need to keep talking about this and be willing to listen to those who have faced this sadness in their own life.
Please do reach out to one of our pastoral team if you would like to chat further about this very challenging area of life. And if anything I have written here has upset you, I do apologise. It is not easy to write about these things briefly, and it's also not easy to talk about them face to face.
Q and A is from 1:08:30