I’ve seen so many Christians debate abusively, some “armchair theologians” and others actual theologians and Pastors, mock, ridicule, speak condescendingly to another that believes differently and or erroneously. When the Debate, comment, or critique turns ugly, it may have started with a love for truth…but pride & arrogance morph & disfigure a person into something that doesn’t resemble Jesus.
As a Pastor I’ve seen the most learned, hardened, intellectual turn to faith in Christ due to simple childlike message. I have also seen those with a gift & calling to study theology get caught up in debating, & dividing over minor points to an extreme & suddenly abandon the faith. Does truth matter absolutely! So speak it in love.
I’ve seen people leave cults…but not one left a cult because I yelled, called names, or bested them in debate. Speak truth in love!
Share the wisdom, knowledge & understanding you believe you’ve received, the truth in love & the fear of the Lord…teacher, preacher, you can beat someone with the truth or you can lead someone to the truth. Be passionate, have conviction, but maintain kindness.
We use the phrase brothers & sisters in Christ like we’re chums, comrades, or close friends…when in reality that person who you spoke condescending to, or even called a name (meant to belittled). The other person in a debate, comment or side is more than your bro or the enemy. They are a child of God, they maybe unsaved currently ignoring the Father’s invitation to come home and dine at the family table or the may be saved apart of the Father’s family, a child of favor. If you oh Wiseman cause one of God’s children to stumble, suffer, spiritual wounding, or otherwise cause another to consider not coming to the family table…well Jesus has harsh words to say about hurting a little one, I suspect that not only applies to real kids but also those weaker in the faith…I suspect many “Wisemen” will be surprised that what they thought were gold & silver medal moments in their lives were actually wood, hay, & stubble moments according to God’s evaluation.
When someone is in error weep over them in prayer before you ever debate, argue, or confront their error.
Yes error & heresy should be addressed but the fruit of the Spirit must always accompany. Have passionate debates, share your convictions, but do so in love and humility.
Have you ever worked as an employee in a family owned business and loved working for the founders, but one day they retire and hand it over to the kids to run? Suddenly everything changes and it isn’t the same place to work anymore. Church we’ve been called and commissioned into the family business…manage or do your work exactly like your Father.
Speak & Serve truth with the Fruit of the Spirit. Don’t be afraid to speak truth but always serve truth in love!