Fact or Fiction!
When the apostle Paul gave his instruction to Titus about the role of a pastor (bishop), he first told him why he had sent him to the island of Crete.
“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting,
and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.”—Titus 1:5.
Almost immediately thereafter he warned him about the people there. He said they were “gainsayers.…unruly and vain talkers and deceivers” (vss. 9, 10). As if that wasn’t enough of an indictment, he quotes a Cretan native as a witness to his charges.
“One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars,
evil beasts, slow bellies.”— Vs. 12.
Let’s focus here on two words from that verse. They are “alway liars.” Whatever they say, you can be sure you can’t depend on it. If they say “safe,” it is probably unsafe. If they say “real,” you know it is unreal. If you need a poster child for “If their lips are moving,” etc., any one of the Cretans could fill the bill.
The apostle Paul and Titus are exactly the opposite. They are advocates for truth. For them the “facts” are the issue and not some “fiction” that the Cretans liars have dreamed up.
Today in America we have far too many people who are like the “evil beasts [and] slow bellies” (vs. 12) of Crete. They too are “alway liars.” They may be politicians, plumbers or preachers; but the truth does not live near them. They skillfully manufacture whatever narrative they think will serve their agenda.
They are corrupt. They are conniving. They are calloused. They are merchants of “fiction” with a total contempt for the truth. They purposefully hide the “facts” in order to perpetrate the myths (fiction) that will expedite and enhance the feathering of their nest. That’s right—they are so morally bankrupt that they will do almost anything if it will turn a profit for them.
Did you notice that the Cretan witness said that they are “…liars, evil beasts, slow bellies”? Where “fiction” is the norm, you should expect “evil” and ‘beastly’ behavior to follow. In addition, the “slow bellies,” this same crowd, are lazy, trifling and given to undisciplined extremes. Stuffing their own belly is all that really matters to them.
So now we have come to a similar dilemma here in America. There is no question that we still have a core of good, godly people; but we also have an abundance of “liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.”
If one of them gets into public office (a lot of them have), you can expect “fiction” to be given place instead of “facts.”
If one of them owns a business (as some do), you will be fed “fiction” instead of “facts” if you choose to do business there.
If one of them gets a pulpit (as many obviously have), then “fiction” will be preached and not “facts” (truth). That’s why in today’s religious environs you can find evolutionists, Bible deniers, unsaved religionists, perverts and other unacceptable things on full display.
All of that was present in the first century, but it is even more prevalentin the twenty-first century. The Bible tells us that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (II Tim. 3:13); and we can see it unfolding right before our eyes every day. That is a “fact.”
But there is another “fact” that we must keep in mind. There may be fewer of us and more of them these days; but the truth is, we still have people who love the Lord and are serving Him faithfully.
We still have good, solid churches scattered out across our world. We still have preachers who are men of faith, who are faithful, fervent and fearless. We still have Christian schools and Christian colleges where we can send our young people. We still have voices like the Sword of the Lord that have not caved to the culture.