My Bible study is going through different epistles right now. Last night, our discussion was on Titus. As I read and reflected on Titus in preparation for group, I thought of how several of my seminary professors have pointed out that the Bible is much more a trajectory for life than it is a checklist of behaviors. The key is to pick up on where the trajectory is headed and see how it applies to a modern audience.
My personal “ah-ha” was that Paul’s qualifications for an elder were customized for the situation on Crete. That isn’t to say that there isn’t application for today, but I believe the main point of Paul’s message is that elders were to be spiritually mature and not fit in to the cultural norms of Crete: drunkenness, seeking dishonest gain, lying, laziness, etc.
I began to think of what Paul might write to people today, in our culture. I thought of our cultural norms: materialism, consumerism, entertainment, and success/status immediately popped into my mind. Knowing that’s who we are as a society, what would he stress? More importantly, is that what we stress in choosing church leaders?