Chapter one of Paul’s letter to Titus begins with a very formal greeting, not only offering peace and blessings but total selflessness of his own identity and taking upon the identity of a slave of God. Paul begins with instructing Titus on how to pick presbyters and bishops to oversee the newly established church. One quality for a bishop that stands out for me above the rest is not aggressive. Being a shepherd tending for sheep requires delicate and light movements for sheep are fairly easy to spook. If you are going to establish a new church and claim to people all that they know and believe isn’t true you can’t come across as harsh. Stern yes, but not aggressive for they will not change their hearts if they have to harden them for fear of being hurt.
Titus is warned of the enemies and people teaching against his teaching that we must be prepared to shut down and instruct and find men capable of proclaiming the true doctrine so when he leaves it will not fall. Paul emphasizes throughout his writings the importance of not only holy and virtuous presbyters but holy and christian in action households and if households are being split or upset by false teachings, the community cannot withstand.
“They claim to know God, but by their deeds they deny him. They are vile and disobedient and unqualified for any good deed” (Titus 1:16-17). Crete has a population of Jewish people who believe in God but have chosen to put down the locals. Paul instructs Titus to abolish the heretic actions of these people because although they have the intentions of doing good, they are doing it for self gain and for observance of their own law.