“But you, speak what is proper, that which is correct in doctrine.”
“Sound doctrine” (as some of our translations will render this), orthodox teaching, or even more simply, “Truth” (with the capital T intended) is what Titus is to speak to the people in Crete. By the very nature of it, Truth divides — it puts one person in the position of being correct and the other in the position of being incorrect — wrong — in error. It is politically incorrect and unpopular to stand upon right doctrine, but it is what the Bible commands of those who would lead in Christ’s church and truly of all who would call themselves Christians.
The tendency, though, in churches today, is to soft-pedal doctrine. They stick with the basics and stay away from things that might alienate or be controversial. They focus on common assumptions held by all who profess Christ and apply those assumptions to life in sound bytes that can be captured on Twitter and carried with the people through the week. They pour money into sound and video and music and then create an atmosphere that draws people into the club. They understand that just as the local club scene can draw lots of people every weekend to hear a favorite local band play their songs, so too, they can draw people on Saturday night or Sunday morning week after week with a packed house.
But Paul is making a different statement here. The church should have a reputation for teaching sound doctrine. Music is not bad, but music is not that for which we are to be known. Activities and programs are good. Yet again, the church is to be known by her correct teaching about God and man and all things pertaining to that which God has revealed to us. That means we may not draw the crowds as does the church of the club-scene, but it does mean that we will please our Savior. Which is more important? And, if we do happen to draw crowds, it will be for the right reasons.
Yet, how many modern churches have compromised standing for what is right for the quick-fix of filling the halls and packing the pews. There will come a time of judgment, and at that time, the leaders in those contexts will be held doubly accountable. And woe to the one who will stand in their shoes on that day.