Disagreements, fights, contention and challenges are inevitable. When we are immature, we see these things as nuisances and become highly defense. All we are really doing when you take away all the sanctimonious window dressing is fighting to "be right", so we don't come off looking inept publically in spiritual matters. We all want to be right; we want to be aligned with correct doctrine and establish our reputations before men as learned and all-wise Christian sages.
As we mature, however, this paradigm shifts. We become much more judicious in picking our battles. We find the need to defend and justify our doctrinal leanings more and more petty. This is not to say that what we believe is not important. Far from it! What I am talking about is the need to engage others who are not looking precisely through the "dark glass" as we are -- this need to incessantly engage, defend, attack. Show me a believer who constantly wars with brethren who challenge him over pet doctrines and convictions and I will show you a believer who is, in fact, immature and insecure. The mature brother, on the other hand, will concede and let others win the battle.
The battles we fight should never be with other brethren. They should never be with flesh and blood, no matter how ardently someone disagrees with us. These battles are exclusively the Lord's; He alone changes hearts and minds. Our battle is with spiritual forces which ever seek to influence our own minds and hearts. We are not responsible to change anyone's point of view in matters of the Lord, in doctrine, theology, etc. Our prerogative is rather with ourselves, with stewarding our own hearts and souls so we may be healthy to feed others who will receive the grace of a life-giving ministry in the Holy Spirit. So that the River of Living Water flows from within an undammed, clean vessel.
We need to see what can dam the outlet, and then prevent this damming from happening. Knowledge is power! For example, will arguing on Sermon Index (regardless of the topic) help widen the flow? Will it restrict it (even if I win)? I need revelation on what God's will is for me here, and once I receive the revelation, to obey it. If God tells me, like He told Jesus, to "leave alone" my dissenters, I had better take heed.
Jesus picked His battles, and so should we. There is a time and place for everything under heaven; discerning when to and when not to act comes from the same Author who constrained Solomon to pen that scripture. When we humble ourselves in the mighty hand of God and concede defense, things get ironed out without us even having to lift a hand. Isaac never fought for the wells to be re-opened his father had dug. He just let the uncircumcised have them. Jesus did not speak a word of defense before Herod or Pilate. He told his disciples to leave the religious people alone and not engage in their debates. But he certainly went after Satan! He warned His disciples to "take heed' to themselves, lest they be deceived by false prophets. But never to fight with them.
If you want to see something amazing happen in your life, try this. It will revolutionize your experience on Sermon Index in the very least, guaranteed. Resolve by the power of God's grace to never argue with another believer on this website (or anywhere else for that matter) again. As soon as you think you are being baited, just excuse yourself and step away, or change the conversation. God will let your know when to do it. See how quickly you will grow in wisdom, how parts of the Word previously closed to you will open up.
God bless you all as you endeavor to walk the narrow path of life and experience the exciting joy of following Christ!
Paul Frederick West