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SPEAK EVIL OF NO ONE; AVOID CONTROVERSIES
"Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. . . . This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned."
Titus 3:1-2, 8-11 NKJVhttps://www.bible.com/bible/114/tit.3.1-2,8-11.nkjv
Wow! That first part is so counter to our hyper-political climate today. Paul knew that young men like Titus especially needed such counsel. Whether in secular, business or religious politics, submission to those in authority and speaking evil of no one will cover most of the requirement to be peaceable, gentle and show humility.
Within the church as well, we would do well to avoid silly controversies. Focus on the bond of peace in the Holy Spirit, instead. How many new churches or even denominations have been created over small distinctions which could easily have been accommodated, had all been cognizant of these principles.
Jesus told His disciples, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 14:35 NKJV) Purity of doctrine or belief was a Pharisaical thing condemned by Jesus.
What were the things He indicated would encapsulate all the Law and Prophets? "'(L)ove the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'" And "'(L)ove your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV) Start there and the other stuff will sort itself out.
That's where putting off the old man (who by nature wants primacy) and putting on the new man (who recognizes the authorities allowed by God) becomes crucial. In the flesh I cannot do this. By His Spirit I can do all things.
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