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TaKa
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Joined: 2003/4/17
Posts: 124
Louisiana

 Debating verses Argueing

Titus 3:1-11

Godly Living

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.

But shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless.

Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.



Paul wrote this letter to Timothy instructing him on how to get organized, how to choose elders for the church, and encouraging him to teach sound doctrine and to avoid empty disputations.

He said to stay away from legalistic battles, for they are no good to anyone and serve no useful purpose, and that we should avoid opinionated people, after giving them a first and second warning.

The Greek philosophers spent their time on their fine-spun problems. The Jewish Rabbis spent their time building up imaginary genealogies for the characters of the Old Testament. The Jewish scribes spent endless hours discussing what could and could not be done on the Sabbath, and what was and was not unclean. It has been said that there is a danger that a man may think himself religious because he discusses religious questions. It is much easier to discuss theological questions than to be kind and considerate and helpful at home, or efficient and diligent and honest at work. There is no virtue in sitting discussing deep theological questions when the simple tasks of the Christian life are waiting to be done. Such discussion can be nothing other than an evasion of Christian duties.

Paul was certain that the real task of the Christian lay in Christian action. That is not to say that there is no place for Christian discussion; but the discussion which does not end in action is very largely wasted time.

lt is Paul's advice that the contentious and opinionative man should be avoided. The King James Version calls him the heretic. The Greek is hairetikos (GSN0141). The verb hairein means "to choose"; and hairesis (GSN0139) means "a party, or a school or a sect." Originally the word carries no bad meaning. This creeps in when a man erects his private opinion against all the teaching, the agreement and the tradition of the Church.

A heretic is simply a man who has decided that he is right and everybody else is wrong. Paul's warning is against the man who has made his own ideas the test of all truth. A man should always be very careful of any opinion which separates him from the fellowship of his fellow believers. True faith does not divide men; it unites them.

~ Barclay's Daily Study Bible


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Troy

 2003/7/10 3:15Profile
todd
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Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
California

 Re: Debating verses Argueing

Quote:
"He said to stay away from legalistic battles, for they are no good to anyone and serve no useful purpose, and that we should avoid opinionated people, after giving them a first and second warning."

I wonder how we apply this to this forum. I agree that legalistic "battles" are pretty lame. but this is not a church, right? if we are just trying to learn from each other in a spirit of humility, then it seems like most things are ok to discuss. "battleing" doesn't sound real good though.

and i don't think "opinionated people" is accurate. maybe "overly-oppionated" in the bad sense. always trying to force their opinons on others. but the Scripture reference seems to distinguish very clearly between having/expressing strong opinons and being factitious. they are not synonymous. they can be if the "opinionated" person is not humble.

but it seems that God gives certain men differnent amounts of authority in these things. and while "foolish disputes" should be avoided, like about legalistic stuff and geneologies (stuff that stems from man's opinoins and not God's Word), the bigger things, like the gospel, should not. I was shocked the other day by this passage where Paul gets in Peter's face for being a hypocrite.

Gal. 2:11 ff.
"But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face... when I saw they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, 'If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?..."

There's some highlights from the passage. But you have to read it in context to get it i think.

I find it striking that this is after Pentacost and Peter is still being a hypocrite and fearful of man. Am I missing something here?

i also don't really understand the passage. i mean, how is Peter compelling the Gentiles to live like Jews?

Quote:
"Paul was certain that the real task of the Christian lay in Christian action. That is not to say that there is no place for Christian discussion; but the discussion which does not end in action is very largely wasted time."

Amen!

QUote:
"lt is Paul's advice that the contentious and opinionative man should be avoided. The King James Version calls him the heretic. The Greek is hairetikos (GSN0141). The verb hairein means "to choose"; and hairesis (GSN0139) means "a party, or a school or a sect." Originally the word carries no bad meaning. This creeps in when a man erects his private opinion against all the teaching, the agreement and the tradition of the Church.

A heretic is simply a man who has decided that he is right and everybody else is wrong. Paul's warning is against the man who has made his own ideas the test of all truth. A man should always be very careful of any opinion which separates him from the fellowship of his fellow believers. True faith does not divide men; it unites them."

I think these are strong words. And i don't know if i agree totally. I mean, if we apply this to Finney, he's in big trouble, and so are we if we follow his teachings.

also, this kind of thing has always bothered me because how can things change if someone doesn't stand up and say somethings wrong? How do we balance respecting and upholding tradition while questioning it? it seems, according to these statments, that is more the speaking out against these things that are dangerous. and i agree. but it helps to know that in the end it is God who i will give an account to.

i think a key might be how Barclay says the heretic erects his PRIVATE opinons "aginst ALL the teaching, the agreement and the tradition of the Church."

does this let Finney off the hook? does it really matter if he is considered a "heretic?" What's the implications?

 2003/7/11 13:14Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
does this let Finney off the hook? does it really matter if he is considered a "heretic?" What's the implications?


That is a very good point, I am an admirer of Charles Finney and have been very blessed by alot of his writings especially the "Revival Lectures".

Its also intresting to note that Jonathan Goforth the proment missionary to China was struggling and felt like he wasent making an impact as an missionary. Then he read the autobiography of Charles Finney and also the "Revival Lectures" and he put the principles contained therein to practice and he had great revivals and many converts! :-D

He was a presbyterian and my church I go to right now: Knox Presbyterian Church funded him as a missionary. but my question is will Knox Church read the "Revival Lectures" and be set aflame like goforth? probably not. And why not? because as you said later in Finney's life he said some things that would lable him as a heritic! hmm this is a tough one.


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 2003/7/12 17:21Profile
TaKa
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Joined: 2003/4/17
Posts: 124
Louisiana

 Re: Debating verses Argueing


Yes, argueing just for attempting to prove yourself right and someone else wrong is pretty lame. This is a church, a place for Christian fellowship, but more like a Bible group really. I believe we can talk about anything here because it seems like everyone here is teachable and humble and submissive to one another, and no one here is trying to prove their own selves to be right just to be right.

I use the word opinionated to mean someone who thinks themselves to be right and takes pride in it - you know those people who always get a kick out of telling you you're wrong.

I believe those of us who hold to the truth of scriptures can be very bold in expressing that truth without coming across as being that type of person because anyone who stays close to the Lord in prayer and in His Word will not be someone who gets a kick out of bashing people when they're wrong.

I've heard a few people who promote the teachings of Charles Finney like they were the only right way, but I've never sensed any sense of arrogance when reading Charles Finney's books. He's just really straightforward. I guess it was because he was an attorney before he became a preacher.


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Troy

 2003/7/14 18:13Profile









 Re: Debating verses Argueing

This was buried among hundreds of threads and I just loved reading it. Had to resurrected it. The first posting is refreshing.

 2011/10/29 20:23





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