A wonderful Christian brother whom I met in Oregon once said this to me,
“Brother, I just got mugged by a Christian. I had a kind of a run in with a pastor a couple of days ago. I thought the conversation started out as two Christians talking, but looking back on it now he was using a kind of mask to reel me in like a fish because he needed to find something to convict me with. I am very conflicted about how I should feel about it because I started out with an open heart and happy to speak with another Believer, but then I realized I was actually on a rooftop looking at a Christian with a kind of switchblade.”
One of the ways that we can tell that Titus is a complete and utter, even insidious forgery is by its harvest. We can remember the people we have met: that insanely judgmental pastor, that minister who was secretly brewing a batch of power-lust, and that priest who was so far above everybody else that his spiritual ego was bumping into satellites. Jesus banned a clergy, so that is one reason why 1 Timothy was forged and insidiously slipped into the New Testament in the early 4th century.
1 Timothy had to be forged so that they could spit their venom in somewhere else. That is where Titus comes in. Titus 2:15, NASB, says this:
“These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
That is odd. Where in the Gospels did Jesus ever say that his disciples had “all authority” “over” people and their lives? What he did say was Matthew 9:13, “I want compassion, not ritual sacrifices.”
An authentic letter of Paul is Galatians, and in Galatians 5:22-23 Paul lists the Fruits of the Spirit:
Still, there is always that “ordained pastor” and career minister who will point out when you call them on their hubris and their tone, “Oh, but in addition to that it is my job to ‘admonish.’ ” One, they made up that job and forged the documents to do it, and two, “authority to admonish in all things” is not on Paul’s list of Spiritual Fruits in his letter of Galatians which he actually wrote.
However, if you read the transcription of the inquisition of Joan of Arc in 1431, what you will see page, after page, after question, after question that Titus 2:15 is surreptitiously behind every word of their interrogation.
So when you meet one of these people and a list of 101 bitter things that you are not doing correctly, and the 01 is always that you are not going to their temple, comes flying out of his or her mouth, remember that today they can only point their finger and yell “Heretic!”
Today they just use the forged letter of Titus to coerce and scold. In 1431, however, they used Titus 2:25 to set Joan of Arc on fire alive. After all, rather than use Jesus’ compassion in Matthew 9:13, they used the forged phase “all authority” and thus applied it to its intended maximum application. Using Titus, the precedent was laid hundreds of years before that. In 785 Charlemagne decreed that anyone who would not be baptised should be executed. That is the ultimate meaning of “all authority.” Titus has never been removed from the Bible, thus rather than a stake, today this same crowd just uses words and social pressure.
The next time you meet a person who calls him or herself a Christian, and you do not smell the fresh fruit of Galatians 5:22-23, you might simply tell them that, but get ready to run because they might start stacking the wood. Ultimately, that is what they accused Joan of doing, – disrespecting their authority.