Voddie Baucham speaks out against the modern methods of discipleship and speaks to the biblical role of discipleship in both the Church and in the home.
In this last session we have an opportunity to again turn our focus to the sufficiency of scripture, and in this session we're looking at the scriptures and the sufficiency of scripture as it pertains to the discipling ministry of the church and the discipling ministry of the home and how that discipling ministry works together in a sort of synergistic way. And if you're like me, you know the term synergy is just something that you probably usually don't like to use, and as a staunch fire breathing Calvinist I can't stand the word synergy most of the time, but, when it comes to the relationship between the home and the church and this process of discipleship, there is a synergy and it's important for us to grasp that and understand that. And as we talk about this ministry of discipleship.
If you were in the session earlier we talked about youth ministry. One of the points, one of my problems with youth ministry, is that first and foremost it has no basis whatsoever in the Word of God. It is biblically indefensible. You cannot go to the Scriptures and make any coherent argument for systematically age-graded ministries. You can't do it. And that's my biggest problem with it. And when you start to talk about that and people try to defend age-segregation in the church and these ministries that sort of look like the school system in many ways, that come from the philosophy of individuals like G. Stanley Hall, philosophies of individuals who are committed Darwinian evolutionists who believe in the recapitulation theory and because of all of that they believe that you have to divide people up by ages not because of anything other than Darwinian evolutionary philosophy. That's where age graded school systems come from. And that's where age graded Sunday schools come from. And that's where age graded youth ministries, children's ministries, so on and so forth come from.
And people will often ask this question "Well come on, it's just an hour a week. What harm can it do, it's just an hour a week." Really? What if you have a problem with pornography on the internet just the hour or week. "Well are you saying it's Sunday school is the equivalent..." That's not my point. Here's my point. You can't argue that something is harmless solely on the basis that it happens only an hour or a week. That argument is as weak as well water. You cannot argue that just because it only happens for a limited period of time that that means it's "ok". Because if it is philosophically and theologically diametrically opposed to the biblical worldview, I don't care if it's half an hour or a week. It's a problem.
And let me clear up a myth. There is a myth that "family integrated churches hate Sunday school and family integrated churches think Sunday school is of the devil." Folks, there are family integrated churches that have Sunday school. They are not age graded. But nobody says that because you have a class that meets for an hour before church that your of the devil. If you want to have a class that meets for an hour before church or for an hour after church or on Thursday, or on Wednesday or Tuesday, or whatever day you want to have a class for people to get together and sit down and study something that's wonderful. But where, pray tell, do you find any justification for breaking it up according to ages and grades. I'll tell you where. Darwinian evolutionary Marxist ideology. That's where and nowhere else.
So as we talk about this process, let's just get the straw man and let's just bury the straw man, ok. This is not about arguing as to whether or not someone can have a class that meets before church or that meets after church. That's not the point. Let's bury another straw man shall we. A straw man that says "you know those family integrated church folks, they believe that the church doesn't have any authority as it relates to discipleship. That the authority rests only in the home and that the church doesn't have any authority and that a pastor doesn't have any authority to do any teaching or any ministry or any discipleship or any counseling with anyone. If they're part of a father's household." That's a straw man people. Because in case you realize it or not. Right now, and throughout this entire weekend your family has been taught. Amen. We Didn't just say "fathers come in here and listen and then go and dispense the information to your wife and children." We're are teaching everybody. And that's what we do. We teach everybody. Amen? That's a straw man. It's a complete straw man.
But what does it look like when we're doing discipleship and respecting those God given institutions? What does the synergy between those institutions look like? Well I'm glad you asked. Open your Bibles with me to the book of Titus. We are going to look at Titus Chapter 1 and Titus chapter 2. And we're going to start at the end and then go back to the beginning. Don't ask me why, just trust me. We'll start a end and then we'll go back to the beginning, and you'll understand why in just a moment. So we'll start actually in Titus Chapter 2. Look here in Titus chapter 2. Look at the first part of this in Titus Chapter 2.
Before I do this let me give you these three things. I'll give you these three things and then I will pull them out of the text for you and show you where these things come from. Three things that God has given us. It's sort of like a three legged stool. I'd like to talk about it like a three legged stool. It's a three legged discipleship stool. God has given us these three gifts, and through these three gifts he has provided for us a wonderful mechanism, an opportunity to be disciples. Those three are these number one, And I'm just giving it to you in this order because it's the order that we'll look at these things in. I'm not saying that there this one, it's superior first... I'm giving you the story because of the order that will encounter them in the text.
He gives us godly, mature men and women in the church. And by the way all of those words are important. "Godly, mature, men and women, in the church". All those words are important, and I will explaining why all those word are important, ok. That's number one, ok. Secondly, He gives us godly manly elders. All those words are important too. He gives us "godly manly elders." Thirdly. He gives us "godly biblically functioning homes." Those are the three.
And we'll look at all three of these and Titus chapter 1, and Titus Chapter 2, and how the three of them work together as this three legged stool. And you need all three, by the way. They are important. It is imperative that we have all three. Why? Because God says so. We need godly mature men and women in the church. We need godly manly elders, and we need godly biblically functioning homes. We desperately need these. If any of these is taken away, then there is great difficulty. Is it possible to do discipleship if one of these is missing? Yes, it's possible, but it's greatly hindered if any one of these three is missing.
Look with me if you will in Titus Chapter 2. "But as for you teach what accords with sound doctrine. "Older men are to be..." By the way, stop there and go down the verse 3. Older women like wise are to be. Why is that important. Here's what you need to understand. We're not just talking about people who by virtue of their age, qualify for what's being lined out here inside of Chapter 2. Just being older is not enough, just being grey headed is not enough. He is speaking here about the character of godly men and godly women who have walked with God over time. So what we're talking about is this sanctification process as it matures. This sense of vocation process as it bears fruit over time in the life of a man or woman. We are not talking about a person who merely is old and by virtue of being old they qualify as a Titus 2 man or Titus 2 woman. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are two types of older people who aren't sinning like they used to. There's one older person who doesn't sin like they used to because they'd been born again. God has absolutely transformed their lives. He is working in them to will and to do his good pleasure. They are not who they used to be by the glory of Almighty God. That's one type of old person.
Here's the other type of older person. They don't do it anymore because they got too old. If you can't say "Amen" you ought to say "ouch". They don't do it anymore because they got too old. Are they are the more godly? No, they're not more godly they're just tired. They just can't get out there like they used to. So what we're talking about here is not people who qualify as Titus 2 man or Titus 2 women merely by virtue of grey hair, or merely by virtue of age. We're talking about a character that is formed as the gospel transforms a life. Takes an individual from darkness to light and then in a process of sanctification makes them more and more like Jesus everyday because they've been walking with God. So we're talking about Godly mature men and women and all of those are important.
We're talking about Godly men and women. We're talking about mature men and women. We're talking about men and women because God is very clear about men and women here and about the relationship of discipleship being very gender specific. And we're talking about in the church.
We heard about this already, we all listen to the charge on a number of instances on yesterday and on last night. About how desperately we need the church. We have heard that charge, and you hear that charge here again.
This is an epistle that was given to the church. This is about the church. This is about the structure of the church. This is about the Ministry of the church. This is about discipleship in the church. These are about Godly older mature men and women in the church. If we are divorcing ourselves from the church, we are divorcing ourselves from the mechanism and the blessing that God has given us for our own discipleship and sanctification. We need the church. And we need godly mature men and women in the church.
One of the problems that I have with many of the movements of are day, and we've heard several times over the course of this weekend about the emerging church movement and other types of church movements. One of the problems that I have with many of these movements, these burgeoning movements is this, is that they are monolithic as it relates to age. And basically it's just glorified youth group. It's young people. "We're a church targeting 20 somethings." No, you're not a church. If you're just targeting 20 somethings. I don't know what you are. You can call yourself something else, but if you're just targeting 20 somethings don't call yourself a church. The church is multigenerational in nature, Amen?
We desperately need godly mature men and women. Well what does that look like? You guys ask all the right questions. "Older men are to be..." Here's the first one "sober minded." Older men are to be "dignified." I like that. Theirs is nothing like an undignified older man. I mean an undignified younger man is not too pretty, but an undignified older man, that just didn't work. Older men are to be dignified. There are to be sober minded. They are have had their head about them, they are to have their wits about them, and they are to be dignified. Why, Because they work really hard to be dignified? What's happening here is not Paul saying "here's what I want you to work real hard to get the older men to do." No, he is giving us the identifying marks of older men who belong to Jesus Christ and who are sanctified by the power of His Spirit over time. One of the marks of a man who has walked with God over time is that he will be sober minded, and he will be dignified. This is one of the evidence that he actually belongs to God.
Self control. Older men ought to be self controlled. In fact is this not one of the great differences between the older man and the younger man. The difference between the older man and the younger man could be summed up by a conversation that happened between two men as they sat at a red light. They sit here at the red light and the old man is actually driving. The old man is a car collector. The old man has a sports car. You pick the sports car, but it's an old sports car, but it will still flat out run. He sits there and the younger man is sitting next to him in this sports car that the older man is driving far too slowly for the younger man's taste. The younger man sittin there going "why have all this under the hood if you won't push it!" And all of a sudden another car comes up besides their car. Another sports car. Revs its engine. Looks over gives him "the look." The universal symbol for "lest's race." Then the light turns green. The other car peels out. The old man just gradually rolls off the light. The younger man sits there going "We could have take him." The older man says "I know, so why do I need to.".
The difference between an older man and the younger man is. You say to the younger man, "I double dog dare you," and he'll try it. You say to the older mature self controlled man "I double dog dare you," and he says "even if I could I wouldn't want to." Self control. Which by the way is not really self control at all. Because remember, we are talking about the gospel taking root and taking hold in a man's life. We're talking about a man being genuinely converted. We're talking about a man over time being conformed to the very image of Jesus Christ. So what happens here really only looks like self control when ultimately what it is is a yielding to the control of the spirit of the living God.
What of the marks of a man who has been walking with God over time, is that he ought to be sound in faith. If there is anything that burdens me it is this idea. In our culture, and the modern American Christianity, we will not tolerate biblical theological and spiritual maturity and men. Let me say that again "in modern American Christianity we will not tolerate biblical, spiritual theological maturity in men" we just can't have it. Nothing above mediocrity.
(Someone might say) "oh, what do you mean? I mean, we were at this conference, and we were all about this, and we want men to be mature. And we want men to grow up." Listen I can prove it to you. In most of our churches if you have a young man who's 16, 17, 18 years old, and this young man is reading church history and he's reading theology he knows his Bible, he's studying his Bible, he has a passion for the word of God, has a passion for the things of God, and a passion for the people of God. You know what happens in the average American church? They look at that 16, 17, 18 year old young man and they say "God must be calling you to preach." Really, why? Because you love the Bible, you love theology. You love church history. You're passionate about the things of God. Now what we ought to say is "well that just means you're a Christian right." No, not in the modern American church.
And you know this is true. In the modern American church if a young man gets that serious about the things of God, immediately the mediocrity of manhood in the modern American church says "you need to get away from the rest of us, because we will not tolerate your passion. You've got to go get a seminary degree. You've got to go become a pastor. You've got to put reverend in front of your name so that I no longer feel guilty about my own mediocre pursuits." And because of that modern American Christianity is the only place in our culture where we will tolerate this cognitive dissonance between a man who will say "I've been walking with God 30, 40, 50 years and I know nothing.".
Cause anywhere else, I don't care, you name the field, were in our culture. And I'm talking about just anybody, just lost Pagan's name the field. I don't care if it's bricklaying. I don't care for truck driving, whatever it is. If there's a man on the job who says "I've been doing this for 20 years, 30 years, 40 years. And another young man comes to the job and says "hey, I've heard you've been doing this 30 years, 40 years. I know if there's anybody who can show me the ropes, you can show me the ropes." And we'd all say "yeah of course, if he's been doing it that long, you ought to be able to come to him and he ought to be able to show you the ropes." Well what if, the young man comes to the older man who's been doing this for 30, 40, 50 years and says " Brother you've been laying bricks for 40 years and I've just started. Can I just come alongside you and watch you so that I can learn how to be a bricklayer because I'm sure you're a master at it." (And the man that has been laying bricks for 40 years might says) "Oh, I ain't no master bricklayer. I ain't know nothing about no bricks."
Now see we laugh, but how about this. You've been walking with God 20, 30, 40 years. "Sir, can I come alongside you as a younger man and you mentored me in doctrine, theology, bible, and church history? What's the response? "I ain't no preacher." It's the only place in America where we accept something so ludicrous. Where a man can say "I've been walking with God 30, 40 years and I proudly declare "I know nothing. I'm ignorant, I'm a babe in Christ. A 40 year old baby, and I'm not ashamed of it.".
Nowhere else is that acceptable, only in the church. But the text says one of the evidences of a man that belongs to God, who has been walking with God over time, is that he is "sound in faith." We're called to contend earnestly for the faith that was once were all handed down to the saints. And yet we proudly proclaim that because we don't have ordination papers, we're unwilling and unable to do it. If nothing else just having read through the Bible for 40 years ought to make you somewhat of an expert. Amen?
But understand, this is a gift that God is giving. It's a disciple making gift that God is giving. Look at the next part. "Sound in faith in love." You look at that and here's what's ironic. "Sound and faith and sound in love." Are older men - again the modern American church - the ones to whom we would look as examples of what it means to be a loving Christian? It's almost laughable. No, older Christian men are not seen as examples of loving... they ought to be.
When we look at Ephesians chapter 5. "Wives be subject to your own husbands as unto the Lord." But what does it say to husbands? "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church." Folks, if there's a man who is in Christ, who is born again, who has been walking with God for 20, 30, 40, 50 years and walking with his wife 20, 30, 40, 50 years, and his number one job description is to love her the way Christ loved the church, he ought to be the example of love for everyone in the church. But isn't he? No. Older man in our churches are out-love everybody.
But that's not what we expect. That's not what we anticipate. And in steadfastness. There's the picture. There is the picture of the older man. The godly, mature man in the church, that God has given as a gift to his bride the church. That over time, begins to mature, begins to take root, by walking with God and being sanctified. That's what he looks like.
Older women likewise, are to be, what? "Reverent in behavior." Just like an undignified older man is a travesty, And irreverent older woman is a travesty. Amen somebody. There's just nothing like an irreverent older woman, and older woman ought to be, if nothing else she ought to be reverent.
(Someone might say) "Well, what do you mean? What does an older woman who's not reverent? When is an older woman who's is irreverent look like?" Well we don't have time to go into all that, but can I just tell you one thing? Here's one tip off of an irreverent older woman, you hear her long before you see her. I'm going to leave that one right there.
"Reverent in behavior, not slanderers." Isn't it amazing? Women are no more for their words than men. Women I believe have a greater ability than men to both heal, and to harm with the tongue. And one of the evidences that a woman has been walking with God over time and being sanctified, is that she is not a slanderer. Her tongue is not venomous. She does not speak words that tear others down. "Or a slave too much wine." Older women are not slaves to much wine, controlled by outward influences like that. "They are to teach what is good." This is the equivalent of the sound in faith for the older man. In other words, instead of slander, an older woman who has been walking with God, instead of having a quick tongue and a sharp tongue that is slanderous towards others, what she is characterized by as a result of her sanctification in Christ is that when she opens her mouth, pearls of biblical wisdom fall out.
When a godly mature woman speaks, it is the word of God that flows forth. When a woman has been walking with God over time. Being sanctified by Him over time. Her words are a source, not only of blessing and healing, but they are a source of truth as she has hidden the Word of God in her heart that she might not sin against Him, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks because this woman is sound in the faith. When she speaks forth, she is not speaking forth the words of Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil, or Dr. Spock, but the words of Dr. Jesus.
Why is this important? "She teaches what is good, and so." He's going to answer the question, why is this so important? And so, train the young women..." Just stopped there. I know we know this. We're familiar with this, but just stop there for a moment. Just for a moment, I want us to go through a little exercise. There is a statement that comes after this but we're going to put a parentheses here and go to the end of the statement. "And so train the younger women." And then go down to the end. And it says, at the end of verse 5 "that the word of God may not be reviled.". Now stop there. If you and I had never read this before, and we were to say "older women are to be sound in the faith, or older women or to teach what is good, so that they may train the younger women. And you stop there's a parenthetical statement there. Whatever training these older women are going to give younger women the purpose of it, is that the Word of God would not be blasting, the Word of God would not be defiled.
What sorts of things what we put in that parentheses? Older women ought to teach younger women you know theology, bible, apologetics. There's so many things that we would put in that parentheses if we're saying our goal is, that the Word of God would not be defiled, but that's not what God puts in that parentheses. What does He put there? "And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled pure, working at home, kind, submissive to their own husbands that the Word of God may not be reviled." There you have it.
So what's the undercurrent flowing here with the relationship of the older woman and the younger woman? Here's the undercurrent it's the home. But you notice that this goes straight to the home. So God says I've given you this in the church, and one of the reasons that I've given you this in the church, "godly, mature, men and women" is so that in the case of older women, they open their mouths and pearls of biblical wisdom come out, and as a result of the pearls of biblical wisdom coming out of the mouths of older women, younger women are better equipped to do in their homes, what God has called younger women to do.
Here's what's sad. We take Titus chapter 2, and by the way, notice this, Titus Chapter 2 does not say. "An older woman should teach the younger women in the church." But it says older women. Titus 2 is not a model for women's Bible study. Even if the women's Bible study, is studying issues like, loving your husband and your children and being sensible pure and a worker at home, not a model for that. Why? Because women's bible study is, "an" older woman singular standing before a group of younger women "plural", and instructing them in a pastoral manner. As we would say down south "that ain't in the book." That's not what this text teaches. This text teach what older women "plural" are to teach younger women "plural" and the context of it is relational, not formal instruction.
So do not run the Titus chapter 2, for an excuse for your women's bible study group. When you have "a teacher" teaching a bunch of other women. That's not what this text teaches. It's not here. Did I say that a woman can't teach another woman something that comes out of the Scriptures? Folks, nothing could be further from the truth. When an older godly mature woman opens her mouth, Scripture is what comes out. How is a godly woman supposed to train a younger woman in the area of loving her husband and her children with out the word of God being the source. If the word of God is not the source, then the woman is the source. And that's a problem. But this is relational. This is not a formal instruction.
So note here, the first leg of the stool. "Godly-mature-men-and-women in-the-church." And God using, godly mature men and women in the church for the benefit of the younger. By the way, this is one of my biggest problems with the whole age-segregated ministry model. How does this Titus 2 relational ministry happen, if the senior adults are over there in this building, and the youth are over there in that building.
So here's the picture. This is what God has given us. Godly mature men and women. This is the first leg. It is a relational discipling entity. Godly mature men and women are a gift that God has given to his church. They are these jewels that God have been shaping over time, and they are of great benefit to us. I'm going to ask a question. If you are a young couple, and your young family. Have You spent as much time trying to find a godly older couple, as you have trying to find "Vision Forum" or "Voddie Baucham Resources"?
Here's what I see. What I see everywhere I go is people who are just so grateful for everything "Vision Forum" is doing, so grateful for what all of the speakers who were there doing. (Some may say) "You've been a lifeline for our family." You know, that's wonderful. In fact, while while we are meddling. How does this ministry happen if we have our traditional service at 8 o'clock, and our contemporary service at 11 o'clock? And the older women and older men go to the traditional service at eight. And the younger women and younger men who desperately need ministry from them, go to the contemporary service at 11:00. While we pretend that we're one church instead of two. Lying to everybody who will take five seconds to acknowledge what we're doing. Got that one out of my system, all right.
But here's what I want to know. Number one. Do you have a church? And number two. Are you seeking out godly mature men and women not just to write books that you can read, but who will be in your life? Or have you so isolated yourself that our materials are all you have? If you have, that a problem.
"Well, you just don't know. Theres just no churches like that in my area." Let me just... Again I'm going to tell you this because I love you. I really do I love you, so just hear me on this. Here's what I can't wrap my mind around.
People who on the one hand read the Puritans and say "Oh, thank God, for men and women who would get in a ship and cross the Atlantic for months at a time, so that they could come here and worship God in freedom." But you won't move to the next county. God help us. We idolize people who faced death to cross the sea. But we stick our thumb in our mouth and cry, rather than move across town or to the next town only because spiritual fellowship is just that important to us. "Instead, i'm just going 'home church' for a while." We need God's people desperately. And we sitting here, as fruit of the heritage of individuals who gave up everything and were willing to go anywhere. Enough already, with sulking, because of what we can't find. or because of what we're unwilling to start.
While we're on the subject. It amazes me that on the one hand we will say "We do not need the school system. We're free from the school system. That bondage is gone. We educate our children in our home, and we can do it, and we can do a good enough job. Who needs all that 'certification,' this, that, and the other." Great. Amen, hallelujah, praise the Lord! (then you say) "You've got a church?" 'No there aren't any churches in our area.' "Why don't you go start one?" 'I don't have any certification from a seminary.' I get whiplash people. On the one hand, there is this staunch rejection of "the whole idea of this certification." But when it's time to stand up and lead. (Then they say) "I'm sorry, sir, but I don't have any papers."
Ladies can I give you a list? Let me give you a list. Here's the list. You you're looking for a Titus 1 man. (Some might say) "Oh, wait a minute, because I know my Bible. Titus 1, those are requirements for elders." 'yes.' "And there the requirements for every man?" 'Well no, those are the requirements for elders." Listen, there's no list for young men in Titus Chapter 2 because the list was already given in Titus chapter 1. "Yea, I understand, but that's a list for elders.". Ok, let me explain this to you why the list in Titus chapter 1 is the list for young men.
Three reasons, I will give you my weakest one first. Number one, because there's no list in Chapter 2. And if that was my only reason, I wouldn't even bother to bring it because it would be a weak reason. However, that's not the only reason. Okay. There's no list in Chapter 2. Here's my second reason. Elders are commanded, in 1 Peter chapter 5, to "be examples to the flock." Right? Now try to follow me on this. If there is one set of requirements over here for elders that look nothing like the requirements over here for regular men. How's that guy an example for this guy if they have different lists? He gives us godly mature men and women. I have two more to go. We're going to make it though. You just got to listen faster than you've been. Here's the second one that He gives us. He gives us, "godly mainly elders." Here's what's interesting, you look there and in the next verse is likewise urged the younger men to be self-control. And that's it. There's no list. The women got their list. The men, says "there's no list." And the men are sitting there going "I was robbed I got no list." And the women are saying "yeah, I was robbed I got no list." Men are walking around going "Yea, I'm looking for a Proverbs 31 woman, and Titus 2 woman." And women walk around going "I'm looking for....".
The answer, he can't be. The only one the elder can be an example to the flock is if his list, is the exact same list that every man ought to be striving for. So that's my second argument. Here's my third argument. There is not one thing in the list of qualifications for elders that any one of us is willing to give up on for our own sons. Not one thing. Don't believe me? Let's go through it. Titus chapter 1. "This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I declared to you." 'Men who've been to seminary...' O, I'm sorry there were no seminaries. 'Men who'd been Christians for 30, 40 years. I'm sorry. There had been Christians for that long. Verse 6. "If anyone is above reproach. The husband of one wife. His children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination."
Many translations say "has faithful children." That's a better translation of the word here, the word that we have for "faith" and "believe," same word translated here. The argument is not that all of the man's children have to be converted. If that was the case, every time a new child was born into an elder's home he'd be disqualified. It's says "he has faithful children." Why, are we looking here? By the way, I want you to notice where we start. We start with the elders home. With his marriage, and with his household. Now which one of us is willing to say "A husband of one wife?" 'Na, not my son.' "Faithful children who are not open to the charge of debauchery and insubordination." 'No, I want some wild out of control grandkids, thank you very much.'
Next part of the list goes to his character. We move from his household to his character. Verse 7, "For an overseer as God's steward must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick tempered or drunkard or violent or greedy for gain." Anybody willing to give up on any one of those for your sons? Okay, now we get the opposite. Here the affirmative ones. "But hospitable, a lover of good, self-control, upright, holy, and discipline." Is there anything on that list that any one of us would be willing to say is not of the utmost importance for the young men that we are raising in our homes. Not one. (but some may say.) "Oh yeah, but I know you're about to get to the one now, because this one here that's about the teach type stuff and he's...." Really? You think this one doesn't apply? look at verse 9. "He Must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught." Anybody want to raise a heretic? No, you want your sons to hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught. Do you not?
"So that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine." Anybody willing to say "no my son doesn't need to be able to give instruction in sound doctrine? Are you serious? "Fathers do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." How do you do that if you're not capable of instructing in sound doctrine? Every one of us wants our son to grow up and instruct his house holding sound doctrine and lastly to refute those who contradict.
Jude makes it clear that's the responsibility of every believer to contend earnestly for the faith. Peter makes it clear that all of us are to set apart Christ as Lord in our hearts, always being ready to give an answer for anyone who asks us the reason for the hope that is in us. In other words, even on the teaching aspect of the elders responsibility, he has to be a model because everything he is called to do from the pulpit, he is first called to do from his home. Young ladies hear me. Start begging God for a Titus 1 man. Fathers, Mothers, hear me. Start speaking to your daughters about the beauty of the Titus 1 man. Start challenging your sons.
By the way there are a lot of people thought that not. My latest book- "what he must be if he wants to marry my daughter" - was all about courtship. Newsflash, it's all about biblical manhood. Applied biblical manhood. This is what we're looking for. For the longest time we had no idea. When it came to a young woman for our sons (people might say) "go to Proverbs 31 son" or 'go to Titis 2 son.' When it came to a young man for our daughters we had nothing. "Just find you a godly man." We had nothing. But the bible couldn't be clearer. Right here, in Titus Chapter 1 we have a picture of godly manhood. By the way here's the next half of my argument I talked about earlier in my message on "feminism." My position on male headship in the church and in the home. Folks, this passage right here is one of the reasons I argue vehemently against "female pastors."
This is a man in Titus Chapter 1. Not only a man, but he's a man's man. Manly pastors. Here's what we've done. We have so transformed our understanding of the pastor, that now, the pastor is this sort of intellectual nerd, who spends all of his time in his office, who has all these academic credentials, who is in touch with his feminine side, who is this loving, soft, tender, speaker of the word. We don't even like the word preaching any more. He gives "talks" and "messages".
No wonder we're willing to have women step up and be pastors. We have feminized the position. The office of pastor is the office of a shepherd. And if you think shepherds weren't manly you've never met one. A shepherd is a bad dude. You don't think so? How about you go fight a wolf with a stick. The office of the elder is in office for a man's man. A real man who is an example of what manhood is. You know how many men don't want to go to church? Because we've so feminized the position of pastor, that a man's man looks in the church and says "I'm not following him. I wouldn't follow him out of a burning building." Some may say "I'll let my wife and kids go follow him because he seems like the type of guy who'd be real good with women and children. But I'm not going to follow."
Notice here also. We're not talking about he's got to be a man who spits and chews and scratches and public and all that... that's not what we're talking about here. But, godly biblical manliness like Christ. It's the picture of Jesus. Who walked around with bare feet and calloused hands. This is the picture of Jesus who turned over tables in the temple. Who picked up a whip and chased people out. Listen, if Jesus looked like the pictures that paint of him, with the perfect hair and the perfect skin. Who could be a hand model and a hair model all wrapped up in one. Trust me, people would not have been running out of the temple but the laughing at that man. You want to know my Jesus? You go to the other end of the book where he shows up with fire in his eyes and with a sword on his thigh. That's my Jesus. He's all man. He's a protector. He's a warrior. He conquered sin. He conquered death he conquered the grave. That's Jesus.
Here's the last part of the picture as my time has gone. Look look at verse 10. Notice and Titus Chapter 2. We have godly mature men and women. What's the focus there? The focus there is on truth of the word, and impact in everyday life in the home. Now we have godly manly elders. Where do we start with their qualifications? What they are doing in their homes? Because they're modeling what all of us off to be doing in our homes. Now in case we didn't get the theme of the home look with me beginning in verse 10. "For their are many who are insubordinate empty talkers and deceivers especially those with the circumcision party. They must be silent... 'since they are upsetting whole Sunday school departments by teaching for sure....'" Oh, I'm sorry." They must be silence, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.".
One of the reasons the text says that elders are to hold firmly to the faithful word and give instruction in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict, is because of this fierce protection of the smallest teaching unit in the church... the home, the third leg of the stool. Now let me take the whole picture for you. A child is born. Some of you have see me walking around here with little Micah are almost 4 month old. And are other, you know little baby Judah, 15 months and little Asher who's almost 3 and little Elijah, who's 5. And then big old Tray 16 and then Lady Jasmin. I won't say how old she is because you don't say how old ladies are. Even when they're 19 you just don't say how old they are.
But here's the picture. You know, in our hotel room we sit there and we're rocking little baby Micah and we're not at home we don't have all our stuff and we're trying to do family worship and make it here on time and all the rest of this stuff, and it's just hectic and everything else and so we're trying to do all this and I'm sitting there and I'm thinking, as I'm sitting here and we've got baby Micah going back and forth and all this sort of stuff happened and then here's this child he's 3 1/2 months old, he has no idea what's going on, none whatsoever. But, in a few months he'll be like his older brother who's now 15 months old. You can't say a whole lot but he knows that when it's prayer time he does this. And then when we finish up and sing the Doxology he's like "hum nawl na nawa nawh.” just jump on in, ok. And his older brothers and his sisters who get it now. Here's what's happening. He's being engulfed in a culture. He won't even know anything else. He's being saturated and bathed in the Word of God. He has no idea. It's all he knows.
Almost sudden as he's being saturated and bathed in the Word of God, he comes to this place called the church. And as he comes to this place called the church there are other men and women there. Older more mature than their father and mother who speak the same words and who did the same thing with their kids. And who will speak truth into my kids lives even when that means "boy, I'm gonna spank you, and then take you to your daddy so he can spank you again." Bless God for people like that in the church, Amen.
And then there are elders. It's godly manly men who thunder the Gospel from the pulpit with passion and no fear. And all of a sudden I hear it from leg one of the stool at home and I'm saturated in it. I hear it from leg two of the stool. Is's godly mature men and women who've been walking it out for a long time and it looks good on them. And I hear it from three of the stool as it thundered from the pulpit, and all three legs of the stool are communicating the same thing into the life of that child. Is that not glorious? It may not mean as much to those of you who grow up with it, as it does to those like me who did not.
The first time I ever heard the Gospel with my freshman year in college. Those of you who know me, know I was raised by a single teenage Buddhist mother in drug infested, gang infested, south central Los Angeles California. I had no legs to the stool, none. No legs of the stool. And I looked at my children and sometimes there's this holy envy. "Oh God, would that I had an opportunity to grow up in a household like that." That's the three legged stool. You know what some of us do? Some of us start taking away legs. Some of us don't align ourselves to the church, so there is no godly manly elder. Or we align ourselves to a church where there's an elder. The godly manly part, not so much. Some of us align ourselves to a church, but we don't pursue relationships with the older. And there are some of you in this room who are older and you said it on cruise control and your attitude is, "I've paid my dues. I've raised my kids. I'm going to worry about my family my grandkids." Shame on you. Give your life to the bride of Christ till you die. Give your life to God's church.
You know one of the things I pray for ? I pray that when I die, that there would be boys - If God should give me another 40 years and if I die at a ripe old age of 80. That there would be boys who say to their father "Would you take me to a pastor Voddie's funeral, because he was my friend. He was 80 years old, but he took an interest in me even though I was just a boy. He was my pastor. It did not send me off to children's church. He was my pastor and he was my friend although he was 80 years old. And he's dead, and I just want to say goodbye to my friend.".
But there are so many of us that are getting to a certain point in our lives, where we're done with God's people in less part of our age group, or part of our immediate family. There are young families all around you who are desperate for godly older men and women to pour into their lives. "Oh yeah, brother, but you don't understand I didn't have all that, I didn't do it all right." News flashed, we'll take that. I love it when an older man will sit down with me and all he's got to say is "don't do that. I did that. I know what that ends up. Don't do that. I got the scars. I'll show you. Don't do that." Thank God for that, Amen. That's a lie from the pit when you think because you didn't have a pristine upbringing, or because you weren't the perfect parent that you've got nothing to give to another family. No you know what you've got to give. Here's what you've got older man look into the life of that younger man and say listen I know your career is incredibly important to you now, but that 2 year old is going to be 20 next week. And you get one shot and one shot only. And when you're laying on your deathbed, you will not sit there and regret the days that you didn't get up early or to go to work. What you'll regret is the days that you sacrifice your family on the altar of your career. I did that. Don't do that. If you're an older man and that's all you've got to give, that is priceless. Give it away.
If you're an older woman. And all you've got to give is, "Listen sweetheart. I know that this submission thing is difficult for you. But let me help you with something. Right now you're waiting for your husband to be worthy of your submission. He never will be. Nor is he the object of your submission. Your submission is to Christ. You have a Gospel based submission. You submit to your husband as unto Christ because of the picture of the Gospel that your relationship is living out before a lost hurting and dying world. If you spend your life waiting for your husband to be worthy of your submission, you will never submit to him, your heart will be hardened toward him, you will be a poor witness to the gospel, and your marriage will be in shambles when your children are gone. I know because I did it the wrong way." If you are an older woman and that's all you've got to give away. Give it away.
If your family under the sound of my voice. I do not mean to make light of your circumstance if you're in a place where it's hard to find Christian fellowship. But I do mean to open your eyes and call you to at least explore the possibility of getting on your own ship and traveling across your own Atlantic to a place where you can plan your life and your family's life in the midst of this three legged stool, because it's that important. "Yeah, but I'v got a lot of land and there's no crime." You know what? You'll get that in heaven. More than enough land and absolutely no crime. But newsflash, people need the Gospel.
I don't know what God is calling you to do with this. But we've heard so many things over the course of this weekend. My prayer for you is that you get from this two things. Number one, all we did was walk through this book. That's it. That's all we did. Titus chapter one, Titus chapter two. Not the latest studies and surveys about discipleship and all that sort of stuff. Titus Chapter 1 and 2. It's sufficient people, It really is.
But here's the second thing. If we really believe that it's sufficient. Let us give of our lives to what it says. And if it says "you need all three legs of that stool". You get all three legs. "But what did we do if..." Listen, I can answer your question. You do whatever it takes. "Yeah but what if..." Whatever it takes to be in the midst of godly mature men and women. Godly manly elders. Both of whom will spur you on as you strive to be a godly biblically functioning home, raising children who are now benefiting from that full-orbed picture, and being blessed by God at every turn because of it.
Lets pray. Father You have been more than good to us. You have given us your son the God man Jesus Christ. You have saved us, redeemed us, rescued us, and poured out upon us and in us your Holy Spirit. And as if that weren't enough. You have given us your church. You have given us godly Christian homes. Godly manly elders. Godly mature men and women who bear the marks of Salvation and sanctification over time as they've walk with You. All disperse on toward love and good deeds. May we seek to live in the midst of this truth, and to do so above all else, at whatever the cost.
Thank you for a room filled with people who desire to be these kinds of homes for their children. For a room filled with pastors who desire to preach and bring forth these kinds of communities. And for the privilege of standing before young men and young women who in many instances are right now being completely enveloped and are resting on this three legged stool and don't even know enough to be grateful yet. Would you use this for Your Glory and for Your Honor and for Your name sake. Th is we pray because we believe it's in accordance with the will and the nature and the authority of Jesus who is the Christ. And all God's people said. Amen.