๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ‘‘ How To Rule The Unruly

A young man had just graduated from Bible school and wanted to be a pastor. But when he was offered a temporary job as a police officer, he accepted it, thinking it might give him some good insight into human nature that would come in handy later in the ministry. One of the questions on the police academy exam was, โ€œWhat would you do to disperse an unruly crowd?โ€ The aspiring pastor thought for a moment, then responded, โ€œIโ€™d take up a collection. Thatโ€™ll disperse any crowd!โ€

Speaking of unruly people, the island of Crete where Titus was stationed (Titus 1:5) had itโ€™s share of them. We know this because after Paul told him to ordain elders in the islandโ€™s churches, he told him the reasonย he needed to ordain them:

โ€œFor there are many unruly and vain talkersโ€ฆโ€ (Titus 1:10).

The dictionary defines the word โ€œunrulyโ€ asย people who donโ€™t want to be ruled.ย Thatโ€™s probably why the only other people in the Bible who are called โ€œunrulyโ€ are people who didnโ€™t want to be ruledย byย the rulers of their local church.ย Speaking of those spiritual leaders, Paul told the Thessalonians,

โ€œโ€ฆknow them which labour among you,ย and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;ย Andโ€ฆ esteem them very highly in love for their workโ€™s sakeโ€ฆย warn them that are unrulyโ€ย (I Thess. 5:12-14).

See the connection? After speaking aboutย rulers, Paul told them to warn theย unruly.ย In the context, these were obviously people who didnโ€™t want to be ruled by the churchโ€™s pastor and elders.

But how could Paul have known that there were unruly men who didnโ€™t want to be ruled by leaders in Crete? Their churches didnโ€™tย haveย rulers yet! Remember, Paul had left Titus in Crete toย ordainย elders (Tit. 1:5). So how did Paul know that some of the Cretians were unruly?

Well, it was because ofย the wayย that pastors are supposed to rule. Paul explained how leaders are to rule in the dispensation of grace when he told the Corinthians,

โ€œNot for that we have dominion over your faith,ย but are helpers of your joy:ย for by faith ye standโ€œ (II Cor. 1:24).

Pastors arenโ€™t supposed to rule by having โ€œdominionโ€ over Godโ€™s people, that is, byย dominatingย them. People stand by faith, and faith comes by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). That means pastors are supposed to ruleย by teaching people the Word,ย and then lettingย the Wordย rule them. Beloved, the only way you are going to have any joy in life is if you let Godโ€™s Wordย ruleย your life!

But thatโ€™s how Paul knew there were unruly men in Crete. When he was there among them, he had seen that there were Cretians who didnโ€™t want to be ruled by the Word that he had taught them. So he told Titus to ordain some elders to teach those unruly menย moreย of Godโ€™s Word.

Perhaps you are thinking, โ€œHow would that help? If they didnโ€™t want to be ruled by Godโ€™s Word, why ordain leaders to give themย moreย of His Word?โ€

The answer is that God doesnโ€™t have a โ€œPlan Bโ€ when it comes to helping people with their joy! That means when people donโ€™t want to be ruled by the Word, a pastor shouldnโ€™t chuck the Scriptures and look around for something else to give them. Instead, he should continue to teach the Word, and ordain elders to do the same. You see, growing in the Word is a believerโ€™s only hope of living the joyous Christian life God wants each of us to richly enjoy. source

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