10. A man that is an heretick, after the first and second admonition, reject;
10 hereticum hominem post unam et secundam correptionem devita
11. Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
11 sciens quia subversus est qui eiusmodi est et delinquit proprio iudicio condemnatus
12. When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis; for I have determined there to winter.
12 cum misero ad to Arteman aut Tychicum festina ad me venire Nicopolim ibi enim statui hiemare
13. Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
13 Zenan legis peritum et Apollo sollicite praemitte ut nihil illis desit
14. And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
14 discant autem et nostri bonis operibus praeesse ad usus necessarios ut non sint infructuosi
15. All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
15 salutant to qui mecum sunt omnes saluta qui nos amant in fide gratia Dei cum omnibus vobis amen
It was written to Titus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Cretians, from Nicopolis of Macedonia.
Ad Titum, qui primus Cretensium Ecclesiae ordinatus fuit Episcopus, scripsit ex Nicopoli Macedoniae.
When he commands him to
We must now see what he means by the word heretic. There is a common and well-known distinction between a heretic and a schismatic. But here, in my opinion, Paul disregards that distinction: for, by the term "heretic" he describes not only those who cherish and defend an erroneous or perverse doctrine, but in general all who do not yield assent to the sound doctrine which he laid down a little before. Thus under this name he includes all ambitious, unruly, contentious parsons, who, led away by sinful passions, disturb the peace of the Church, and raise disputings. In short, every person who, by his overweening pride, breaks up the unity of the Church, is pronounced by Paul to be "heretic."
But we must exercise moderation, so as not instantly to declare every man to be a "heretic" who does not agree with our opinion. There are some matters on which Christians may differ from each other, without being divided into sects. Paul himself commands that they shall not be so divided, when he bids them keep their harmony unbroken, and wait for the revelation of God. (Philippians 3:16.) But whenever the obstinacy of any person grows to such an extent, that, led by selfish motives, he either separates from the body, or draws away some of the flock, or interrupts the course of sound doctrine, in such a case we must boldly resist.
In a word, a heresy or sect and the unity of the Church -- are things totally opposite to each other. Since the unity of the Church is dear to God, and ought to be held by us in the highest estimation, we ought to entertain the strongest abhorrence of heresy. Accordingly, the name of sect or heresy, though philosophers and statesmen reckon it to be honorable, is justly accounted infamous among Christians. We now understand who are meant by Paul, when he bids us dismiss and avoid heretics. But at the same time we ought to observe what immediately follows, --
They who infer from this passage, that the supporters of wicked doctrines must be restrained by excommunication alone, and that no rigorous measures beyond this must be used against them, do not argue conclusively. There is a difference between the duties of a bishop and those of a magistrate. Writing to Titus, Paul does not treat of the office of a magistrate, but points out what belongs to a bishop.2 Yet moderation is always best, that, instead of being restrained by force and violence, they may be corrected by the discipline of the Church, if there be any ground to believe that they can be cured.
He next points out the sign of this ruin -- an evil conscience, when he says, that they who do not yield to admonitions
At the same time, we learn from Paul's words that we must not rashly or at random pronounce any man to be a heretic; for he says, "Knowing that he who is such is ruined." Let the bishop therefore beware lest, by indulging his passionate temper, he treat with excessive harshness, as a heretic, one whom he does not yet know to be such.
END OF CALVIN'S COMMENTARY ON TITUS
1 "Au droit chemin." "To the right road."
2 "Ce qu'il convient au Pasteur de faire." "What it belongs to the pastor to do."
3 "As he said before, let them apply their mind to it. He contrasts this with the foolish presumption but too common among those who thought that they were clever men, when they had speculated on this and the other subject. You have fine speculations, says he, but yet consider what is the true excellence of the children of God; it is to shew that they have profited well in doing good, and that this is the subject to which they have given their study. And then he says, Let them learn; as if he had said, Hitherto you have employed your time very ill, for there was nothing but foolish ambition, you yielded too far to your vain fancy. You must now follow a different course. Henceforth you must excel in doing good, and not in rambling talk. Instead of being led by curiosity and ambition. let every man be employed in doing good to his neighbors). Let every man consider what is his ability; and according to the power which God has given us, let us serve one another. Thus shall we shew that it is not in vain that we have received the gospel."--Fr. Ser.