A community or neighborhood watch are crime prevention programs initiated by neighborhoods where they look out for each other and, hopefully, prevent burglaries or vandalism…or worse. The idea behind them was that citizens needed to take up the responsibility to look after each other and their communities.
It’s not a bad idea…but it’s one that needs to be carried out with great caution, as the events that happened in South Florida several weeks back drove home. Two people, completely misunderstanding each other in a toxic atmosphere of mistrust resulted in one innocent, unarmed teen’s death.
A community watch can be a good thing, if those undertaking the watch carefully follow the guidlines and keep the primary goal in mind…that of the safety of the community. If it becomes some vigilante group, or a team of busybodies, then it actually subverts it’s intended purpose.
In similar fashion, Paul intends that the church community watch out for threats to the health of their fellowship. Instead of watching out for burglars, we have to be careful about doctrines, behaviors and attitudes that can negatively effect the well-being of the group. But we have to do so cautiously, so as not to end up working against ourselves by forgetting that redemption and relationship are the goals.
We’re going to be reading Titus 1:10-16 this week, and Paul provides some guidelines about what we need to be careful of as a community concerning doctrine, practice and motive.
What does Paul warn us about mostly in this section? What sort of myths and commands of people can serve to be divisive in the church today?
Some people freak out at Paul’s statement about Cretans in v12. It seems pretty harsh. But if you factor in the history of that statement (you can find it HERE), does it help you see why Paul may have been using that quote?
Hope to see you Sunday!