Polemic against False Teachers in the Pastoral Letters

All three Pastoral Letters are concerned that false teachers have come into the church, but the letters do not describe or debunk the content of the errant teaching as such. Rather, they attack the teachers themselves. The methods, morals, and motives of those teachers are put on display as examples of what Christians should avoid.

The letters also offer some reflection on how the false teachers came to be the way they are.

Such factors have corrupted their minds (1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 3:8; Titus 1:15), which is why they do not know the truth (1 Tim. 6:4–5).

Thus the Pastoral Letters do not urge church leaders to debate with such persons or even try to convince them that they are wrong (see Titus 1:11, 14; 3:10–11). The situation is not hopeless, but if these false teachers do come to know the truth, it probably will be because they repented of the sins that corrupted them in the first place rather than because they rethought their position in light of superior arguments.