The Argument

There’s quite an argument going on in the comments of one of my previous posts.

I can’t tell you that I have been carefully monitoring it, eager to jump in with just the right “AHA!” that will prove how gloriously intelligent and inspired and above-all-else RIGHT I am.

If you believe that my salvation or yours hangs on being a perfect and omniscient blog moderator on all matters biblical and spiritual, then I am sorry to disappoint you, but certain I am not the first (nor will I be the last) to do so.

Hey, the argument isn’t even about what I posted.

But it does an en exceptionally good job of illustrating the point I had hoped to make.

Both of my beloved arguing brothers is utterly convinced that his interpretation of a number of scriptures supporting his point of view is so inarguably RIGHT and so self-evidently clear and so vitally crucial to the salvation of everyone on this planet that no one who disagrees with it can share in the fellowship of Christ.

The two points of view are different, so they cannot possibly agree and therefore one of them must be wrong and the other must be RIGHT.

The problem with that is that they can be different and still agree; and both could be right (at least to a degree) and both could be totally wrong (by being wrong in part).

And of course, since the nature of God is at issue, the probability of error is extremely high when one point of view is deemed to be wrong because with God nothing is impossible.

If we stuck to scripture without interpreting it, we would all agree that it says Jesus is the Christ and Son of God, who rewards those who diligently seek him, and the things that scripture says about Him are sufficient to lead anyone into a closer relationship with Him and into a life that reflects His glory and story.

But we all interpret. What happens when we start to believe that our interpretations are just as important as scripture – or perhaps even ARE scripture – is the fallacy of self above God, opinion above truth, creed above scripture, arrogance above humility, self-righteousness above grauce, RIGHTness above righteousness, winning above loving.

That is when we fall into the seductive snare of the argument.

And you rarely if ever see anyone emerge victorious by winning a soul over to God’s side … though perhaps you might sometimes see someone who has cowed his adversary over to his own side.

Because we hardly ever argue about what God actually says, but over what we think we know that He meant.

Can good come of an argument?

Sure. When it’s pursued in love, humility and a recognition of the difference between truth and perception; God’s word and man’s doctrine. I think God knows we’re all different and perceive things differently — He did create us this way, after all — and He expects us to disagree and even argue.

I think He expects us to argue like believers, though — and not like those to whom His love is a foreign concept.

Healthy, respectful argument helps bring the Word alive in our minds and hearts, challenging us to dig deep, read, listen and respond in love.

Jesus, John says, came to us full of grace AND truth. Not one or the other, but both, and in perfect balance. He argued — and sometimes strongly, harshly — but He was and is the Son of God. We are not, save through His blood and His righteousness.

And the folks with whom He argued most reprovingly were the ones who were absolutely convinced of their own infallible RIGHTness.

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8 thoughts on “The Argument

  1. “Both of my beloved arguing brothers is utterly convinced that his interpretation of a number of scriptures supporting his point of view is so inarguably RIGHT and so self-evidently clear and so vitally crucial to the salvation of everyone on this planet that no one who disagrees with it can share in the fellowship of Christ.”

    Keith I believe that aply discribes “one of us”.I don’t ever recall where I said I could not earnestly worship, pray, or break bread with anyone who does not accept my views of scripture, I do this all the time, everytime I attend church.

  2. kb, I will assume you are refering to me, so I will respond in this way. Let us let scripture speak for it’s self. Gen 1:1-5 “In the begining God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, let there be light and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light day and the darkness He called night, And evening and the morning were the first day.” The question? how long is a day? The answer is found in Exodus 20: 8-11. Moses to the Israelites, ” Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. in it thou shalt not do any work. thou nor thy son nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant nor thy maidservant nor thy cattle nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth ,the sea and all that is in them and He rested the seventh……” Moses just interpreted Gen 1: 1-5 for us, He was inspired by God when he wrote. Any other interpretation would be incorrect. My opinion would be, anyone with any amount of reason or logic, and a first grade education can easily understand what God meant by a “day”.

  3. Great post Keith! Couple of thoughts from our Brother Paul in his second letter to Timothy: “Warn them before God against quarreling about words.” “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel.”

    DU

  4. Keith, I think we should all read this and compare what it says to what the bible actually says.

    Who is the Holy Spirit? http://www.thevoiceforlove.com/holy-spirit.html

    “The Holy Spirit is the bridge to God within you. It is the part of your mind—the part of your Spirit—that is joined with the Mind of God. The Holy Spirit is the Voice for God and acts as a reminder to all of God’s children of the unconditional love that God has for them.

    God loves His children so much that He wanted His children to always know that they are safe, they are loved, and they are whole. God extended the Holy Spirit as a way to ensure that God’s children would always know these things. God gave this Voice to His children, and this Voice is now a part of them. It is the eternal perspective of Truth, Love, and Reality that cannot be taken from God’s children. It is the Voice of God instilled within and the ever‑present reminder to God’s children of the Truth of Who and What they are and the Love their Father has for them.

    By extending the Holy Spirit, God provided a way to bring His Voice into each of His children as they went out into the world so that they could always remember the Truth of Who and What they are. The Holy Spirit’s function and purpose is to bring God’s Voice to each of God’s children, guiding them, directing them, loving them, and restoring their thinking to God’s.

    Little by little, as you hear, recognize, understand, and become aware of the Holy Spirit in different ways—through your thinking, correcting a thought with this Voice, recognizing this Voice in another, sharing this Voice with a friend, and so on— the Holy Spirit is brought into the world and given to each of God’s children. This Voice is recognized in each of God’s children and used as a reminder for God’s children of the Truth so that they can overcome the world.

    The Holy Spirit was given to each of God’s Children by God, put within each one, and is now a part of them. It is not to think that the Holy Spirit is separate from you, is really only a part of God, or will one day be separate, because in Truth, the Holy Spirit is a part of you. It has now been blended and melted into you. That is why it is important to recognize this Voice of God in everyone you meet because It is part of them as well.

    The Holy Spirit is within each of God’s children and cannot be extracted. It is there as a constant Resource, Companion, and speaker of Truth no matter what you think you have done, what you think you are doing, or what you think you might do. This Voice for Love within you holds no judgments, never condemns, and only remembers your true Perfection. In that is the impossibility of sin or anything related to it.

    It is not possible for the Holy Spirit to judge you in any way because this part of God can only see the Truth of who you are and not who you think you are. God’s Voice is within your mind and is ever available to you to restore your thinking to Truth. In any moment you decide that you do not want to participate in the belief of separation—if you decide you want peace, if you decide you want to remember Who you are and What you are— the Holy Spirit is there within you waiting to join with you in Truth. It has been within you since your first step into the world and offers you an alternative to pain and suffering, to fear and loathing, to vengeance and death. This Voice for Love within you offers you Peace, Oneness, Truth, and everlasting Life.

  5. “You see it one way and I see it another; one of us must be wrong”…that phrase has been repeated to me many times lately…by a very good friend…a member of the same congregation as my husband and I.

    I think what cut me the most is this:
    He brought the debated subject up in a small group and was loaded for bear. He went on and on and………..he finally said that God wanted us to fail. I said, “Where’s the faith”…he looked at me like I’ve not seen before and replied, “That’s blackmail”.

    Words, words, words. I am Spirit led…for ever so long we didn’t teach much on the Spirit. Thankfully, I’ve awakened and how refreshing it is.

    Words, words, words.

  6. Vasca, those “words” you so dispise, happen to be the words of God. God the Spirit. and if you are led by the words in the bible, you are led by the Spirit.
    Maybe you were taught more about “The Spirit” than you think, maybe you were just not listening.

    • Laymond, I did not mention the word ‘despise’ at all. I’ve been spirit led for a long time now. And as I said, I am so thankful. Reading/studying the scriptures through the years stirred an awakening.

      We (my husband and I) were Spirit led to China when we were both 72 years old. We stored our things, left all of our family and went w/no assignment. We told our director to put us where he needed us. Our job was to teach conversational English because to live there we had to be employed. Our primary purpose was to acquaint those Chinese we would encounter about someone they didn’t know…God.

      It worked and God blessed all of us w/establishing some underground congregations. That was eight years ago and those groups are yielding fruit.

      We’re God’s family and we all serve in different ways…it isn’t about ‘who is right and who is wrong’…at least in my thinking.

      God speaks, we listen.

  7. Vasca, I truly appreciate your dedication to the Lord, as I am sure he does. And although I am not the judge, I believe what the “Good Book ” says you will be rewarded greatly.
    That said, I believe if the apostles knew we were all guided by an indwelling spirit, they would not have left us a written guide/map.
    I do believe we are guided by something other than the written word, as you recall so did Paul. Laws placed within our heart, and a good conscience.

    Good bless you and your work.

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