Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
"These very men keep on subverting entire households by teaching things they ought not." (Titus 1:11)
With distorted thinking, some men on Crete may have been advocating regulations from the Law about foods and ritual cleanness. They may even have been embellishing what the Law said, as well as advocating Jewish fables and human commandments. (Mark 7:2, 3, 5, 15; 1 Timothy 4:3) Such thinking had a negative impact on their judgment and moral sense, their conscience. Paul wrote: “To persons defiled and faithless nothing is clean.” (Titus 1:15) Their conscience became so distorted that it no longer was a reliable guide for their actions and evaluations. Moreover, they judged fellow Christians on things in which one Christian might decide one way but another might choose differently. In this respect these Cretans were viewing as unclean what really was not. (Romans 14:17; Colossians 2:16) While declaring that they knew God, they proved otherwise by their works.—Titus 1:16.
(Watchtower issue: 10/15/07, 2:4, 5)
*this is an interesting topic, because in modern times you can see this same type of unbalanced thinking even among people who are not necessarily religious in the traditional sense...like when it comes to being fanatical about certain types of health foods or medical treatment or lifestyle choices.
(This probably isn't the most appropriate example for a Biblical discussion) but there was this funny episode of the Simpsons, where Marge Simpson was in charge of cooking for this mommy daycare group, made up of fanatical moms who were obsessed with making sure that their kids were exposed to nothing with chemicals and only allowed them to eat 100% organic, environmentally friendly, non-toxic food choices. (which of course is a good thing) but they would take it to such a ridiculous extreme...by spitting out the food Marge made, and refusing to bring their kids over her house anymore when they discovered she used an 'off-limits' ingredient and 'non-approved' cookware. lol
Even though that's an exaggerated scenario, you can see elements of reality in it when people discriminate against, or cause divisions among others, by not allowing room for diversity or for a difference of opinion in relatively minor areas. It shows the importance of not "pushing ahead" or "going beyond the things written" in order to try and force others to conform to our personal preferences...even when we don't like some of the choices our brothers and sisters make in certain areas of life. You can really see the Biblical wisdom in that counsel, because it helps to keep all of us 'in-check' and not encroach upon the rights of others, since we all have a tendency to be overly judgemental sometimes.