Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.2 Timothy 2:23-24 NIV
After reading this, you might be tempted to think that Paul was on Facebook. I am a member of several Facebook groups focused on the Bible or specific theological areas. And I find it sad how many people participating in these groups seem either unaware of admonitions like this one or just don’t care.
Defending the truth is important. But how we defend it is also important. My beliefs are a part of who I am. If someone hits me, my first reaction is to hit them back. In the same way, when someone expresses a theological viewpoint contrary to mine, my first reaction is to feel like I am being attacked. And the more tightly I hold to a belief, the more strongly I react when I perceive that belief to be threatened. My response is not to physically hit my opponent. However, I can easily get caught up in an adversarial argument or quarrel, attempting to bludgeon my opponent with superior intellect and logic.
But when I do that, I have lost. Even if I force my opponent into submission, I have lost. As Paul says here, the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to everyone, including the person on the other side of the debate, and able to teach. Teaching and giving correction are more effective when done with kindness and respect. Echoing Paul, I would encourage you to avoid quarreling. It does little to advance the cause of Christ. Instead, keep your emotions in check and gently correct. Or, if appropriate, be willing to accept correction.
The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.
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