Biblical Exposition

Titus: Organizing the Early Church
By Steve Ray

[NOTE: In my articles on the Pastoral Epistles, I use each one to relay a theme: 1 Timothy emphasizes Timothy; Titus emphasizes Paul’s ecclesiology; 2 Timothy emphasizes the end of Paul’s life.]

Success brings rewards, but it also brings problems and responsibilities. Entrepreneurs are good at starting new ventures, but not always good at managing them. Preaching the good news of Jesus Christ around the Roman Empire was a huge enterprise. And the enterprise bore fruit—fruit that had to be tended. Success must be managed and that requires institutions and delegation. The Apostle Paul learned all this, sometimes the hard way.

Controlling a mushrooming new enterprise is difficult enough but it is even tougher managing it from a prison cell or from a ship tossed at sea. With no e-mail, fax machines or Federal Express communications over thousands of miles was slow and laborious. New news was old news before it ever reached the ears afar off. Problems could fester and spread before a plea could be made or a remedy provided. St. Paul learned all of this, sometimes the hard way.

St. Paul understood delegation which is so crucial to any successful enterprise. Besides being a good manager, Paul had a few loyal fellow workers he could trust. A man once exclaimed, “My friend is no orator; but he will go out with me in any kind of weather.” Titus was like that. When Paul was wading up to his neck in alligators, Titus was by his side. The Church needs her Paul’s who can preach and make waves; but she also needs her Titus’ who can step into tough situations and calmly bring peace and order.

Titus was such a man and his name is mentioned thirteen times in the New Testament, always with affection and trust—serving with Paul for many years (see 2 Cor 8:16-17, 23-24). Trustworthy men are hard to find, as Paul learned, and Titus was one of the few Paul could trust as his representative and to solve difficult problems. For example, he organizing finances among the unruly Corinthians (2 Cor 8:1-17) and he appointed overseers over the Cretans (Tit 1:5) along with many other diplomatic missions. Handling very sensitive and difficult problems, it seems that Titus was a man of great tact, forceful character, deep holiness, and good organizational skills. He lived up to the meaning of his name “Titus” which means nurse—he was tending and healing problems within the Church.

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Reposting a blog on Assumption I wrote ten years ago. Link to my long defense is here.

The Assumption of Mary always ruffles the feathers of anti-Catholics. I understand why. I used to be in their camp — I joined them in lockstep chanting the same slogans and mantras against “Catholic Tradition” and “man-made dogmas.”

WomanSun.jpgBut now I turn my guns on my old impoverished theology and anti-Catholicism and its lame attack on the Assumption and Queenship of Mary. I just learned too much to stay a member of the Fundamentalist camp with their Fundamentalist tradition. Click here to read my response.

(Picture:”The Woman Clothed with the Sun” – one of my favorites. I took this picture of the mural in the Church of the Visitation in Ein Kerem in Israel)

On August 15th I posted a blog offering some biblical precedent for the Assumption and Queenship of Our Blessed Mother. I was not trying to prove the dogma, only to offer biblical precedent for it. There was some red-faced huffing and puffing and a few websites made hay with it. Naysayers immediately jumped to attention and posted a flurry of opposition with the same old, same old. They demanded I answer them RIGHT NOW!

What I said was not only rational and biblical, it was also easily defensible. My article is somewhat lengthy, though I did cut it back from what it was. I wanted to be somewhat thorough. I was criticized for not answering their flurry of charges and questions last week; now I’ll probably be criticized for writing too much :-)  Oh well!

I’ve never been one to be bullied or pushed into anything, and I certainly feel no obligation to tussle with them every time they step unto the playground with their taunts and jeers. But this topic interested me immensely and I thought I would enjoy delving deeper. I also thought it would be edifying and enjoyable for Catholics to read — to make them proud of their Catholic faith.

So, I had a few days of relative calm (unusual) without deadlines and such. So I wrote a response. You can read it here in PDF format. Enjoy, and if you are a Catholic — rejoice in Our Lord Jesus and in His Catholic Church, and honor His Mother. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as recorded in Sacred Scripture, Mary said “All generations will call me blessed!” Be glad to be in the Church that still does that very thing!

Grandpa.jpgBy the way, a quick glance at White’s website seems to indicate he is obsessed with me lately. I must be famous or something! Is this my 15 minutes of fame promised by Andy Warhol? Wow, am I really that dangerous or interesting?

Geez, I’m really just a old bald-headed grandpa, for heaven’s sake! This picture was taken ten years ago. You should see these teenagers now! What was five been thing is now 15 grandkids!!

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Sunday evening we again fly to Phoenix for the last seven days of post-production on our next Footprints of God documentary “Elijah & Elisha: Conscience of the Kingdom.’ We will shoot a few studio scenes with my Segway, record the Behind the Scenes feature and finish up with music, maps, etc.

After this one we have only the Doctors of the Church to complete our 10-part series. It will have taken 20 years to complete them all. Pray for us. If you want to learn more and have updates on our production, or want to help support the project financially, visit www.FOGHelp.com.

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1 Timothy: Paul’s Young Convert and Faithful Fellow-worker

July 31, 2017

[NOTE: In my articles on the Pastoral epistles, I use each one to relay a theme: 1 Timothy emphasizes the life of Timothy; Titus emphasizes Paul’s ecclesiology; 2 Timothy emphasizes the end of Paul’s life.] He was a young man with a past and because of this letter, many were now aware of his past. […]

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2 Thessalonians: Correcting Wrong Ideas about Christ’s Return

July 21, 2017

The messenger clambered off the ship with mixed emotions: joy and distress. The mission had been successful but new problems had arisen. It was like climbing up a sandy slope: three steps up and sliding two steps back. He had to find Paul quickly. The problems were serious and needed immediate attention. When the Church […]

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1 Thessalonians: Paul’s 1st Letter, 2nd Coming of Christ

July 18, 2017

He was chased out of the city and barely escaped under the cover of night. Local friends are good to have at times like this—they can find the city gates in the dark. Traveling by the light of the moon Paul and his companions arrived with the morning dew in Berea only twenty miles to […]

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Colossians, Christ the Head of the Church

July 9, 2017

Pick your god. They are all worshiped here. Choose your favorite from the pantheon. Greek gods, Roman gods, Hittite and Eastern gods and even the Jewish God. Temples abound. Enter and worship the Ephesian Artemis, the Egyptian Isis or Serapis. Bow down to Zeus, Athena, or a fertility goddesses. Purchase an idol to enshrine in […]

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Philippians: Joy and Rejoicing with St. Paul

July 3, 2017

It was the strangest thing they had ever heard. It was not necessarily the singing¾they had heard that before. It was the time of the singing¾midnight¾and it was the place of the singing. This was no temple or amphitheater. The men were down below, where rats scurry over their faces in the darkness and the […]

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Ephesians: The Body of Christ, both Jew & Gentile

July 2, 2017

He was under arrest. Those in squalled dungeons had it worse, but chains are never a good thing. He was confined to his own rented quarters with a Roman soldier on guard day and night. Caesar was busy and no little hurry to hear the appeals of a wandering Jewish preacher. Unable to travel and […]

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Galatians: the Heart of Paul’s Gospel of Freedom

June 30, 2017

Fathers can be gentle and warm but they can also be tough and severe at times. I remember every spanking I received from my father—and I always deserved it. His hand was so large and so was its impact upon me (no pun intended). It always redirected my behavior and brought about a commitment to […]

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Holy Father – is he Holy?

June 29, 2017

A young man stood up at my conference in the Philippines a while ago and parroted (yelled out) the Fundamentalist mantra: “The Pope is a sinner like everyone else; why do you call him ‘HOLY Father’?” I leaned into the microphone and said to the young man in front of 2,000 people, “You should really […]

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St. Paul did not Write to Us!

June 28, 2017

When arguments about salvation arise between Catholics and Protestants, the Bibles are usually opened to Galatians and Romans. Are we saved by faith alone or are works involved? Protestants quickly accuse Catholics of teaching a salvation based on works and Catholics quickly point out that Protestants have swung the pendulum too far in the other […]

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Pastor Bob “Preaches the Word” (Discussing A Sermon on Baptism)

June 27, 2017

Pastor Bob Preaches The Word (or does he?) By Steve Ray Josh left Sunday services full of excitement, anxious to discuss Pastor Bob’s sermon with his sister Jennifer who had recently converted to the Catholic Church. The pastor had explained how salvation was by “faith alone” and not by rituals and works. He was anxious […]

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2 Corinthians: St. Paul Bears His Soul

June 26, 2017

(In this article I emphasize Paul and his apostolic calling along with the actual letter. In 1 Corinthians I emphasized the city of Corinth, the immorality and the actual letter.) The water was cold and his legs were numb. His skin was wrinkled after the many hours of bobbing in the waves desperately clinging to […]

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1 Corinthians: Standing Firm in a Pagan Culture

June 25, 2017

(In this article I emphasize the city of Corinth, the immorality and the actual letter; in the next article on 2 Corinthians I will emphasize Paul and his apostolic calling along with the actual letter.) It was a wicked city. The sandals from travelers of every country in the Empire trudged over its cobblestone streets. […]

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Alcohol, Mary, & Miracles — Hard Verses with Steve Ray, John 2:1-12

June 24, 2017

Last week Marcus Grodi invited me to Coming Home Network to record a new episode of EWTN’s “The Journey Home” which will be aired the 1st week of Febrary. We also recorded a segment of Deep in Scripture. We discussed John 2, Alcohol, Mary and Miracles (audio below). Check out the Coming Home Networks website […]

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