Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.2 Timothy 2:23 NLT
Fighting over words is foolishness. Only those who are immature will get sucked into it. Arguing with someone you don’t agree with accomplishes nothing but creating a rift between you. We get emotional with our convictions and allow our emotions to drive us instead of our heads. We tend to forget that we will not convince anyone of anything while they have their defences up. We dig our heels into the sand and will not listen when we feel our convictions are being threatened. It is not our role to convince anyone of the truth. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, and He can’t do that when we have stirred up the pot.
No one has perfect knowledge, not even you. We now see through a glass darkly. Because of our limited capacity to understand the things of God, we will always be able to learn new things. Some things we think we know are refined over time as our maturity in Christ grows. No matter how well-grounded we may be, we learn new things as the Spirit works in our lives. He leads us to sometimes change our thinking on things. So, we need to be careful how much we hold onto in our understanding of truth. There are some things that are undeniable and true for all believers for all time, and there are some understandings of truth that the Spirit changes in us as we grow in Christ.
It is foolish to hold onto and argue about things that are not clearly spelled out in Scripture. The Church has been divided over details for centuries and you or I are not going to settle the issues. We must realize that there are reasons why there are so many different church bodies worshiping the same Lord we do but in different ways. If there was no room for different understandings, the Lord would have fixed it a long time ago.
Wisdom would teach us to let those things go which are not essential to faith. Hang onto your convictions with an open heart and mind. Listen to the Spirit if He is changing your thinking on some things. But, whatever you do, don’t be argumentative over things. It will not change anyone and it will only prevent you from having godly fellowship with others. Agree to disagree agreeably on non-essential matters and let the love of Christ bind you together as one to the glory and honour of our Lord.
Arguing leads to fighting over words. Fighting causes divisions in the church. We argue, fight, and divide over things that don’t matter and it keeps us from fulfilling our mandate to go into all the world and make disciples—not of ourselves, but of Christ. As far is it is humanly possible to do, strive to live at peace with fellow believers and work together for the glory and honor of Christ until He comes.
- Jim Hughes