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I've noticed there's been many remarks on 'debate' on all these threads. After it was stated that it is 'divisive' to debate the doctrine of salvation, I put forward the question 'is debate divisive'?
All agree that Paul debated doctrine, and he did so with a clear, predetermined agenda. To proclaim the truth and correct error. The Galatians were on the verge of proving themselves apostate by adding to Paul's gospel the need to be justified by continued obedience to the law, as opposed to being saved by grace.
The Pharisees debated as well with an agenda, and all agree that their's was sinful.
The moderators have stated clearly that debate on the Cal/Arm is off limits (I don't understand why the other thread near the top is fine though), so, not disputing the rules for this forum, is debate divisive at any time? It seems a far too vague assertion given the great church history of debate and defense of sound doctrine. Is debate wrong if it never brings a unanimous answer from the church as a whole? Is it wrong if it maintains a mutual respect for persons and stays only focused on the issue at hand rather than accusing the other of suggested motive and position?
What makes debate good or bad in the church? Is it profitable or should it be avoided and the consequences accepted?
After reading much of the debates that took place between the Protestants and Catholics, it seems a priceless gift that God has granted to his people to protect the church from the ravages of the wolves.
It also seems apparent that God has raised up men who regularly use this forum who have learned to excel in debate as well.
Is debate for the sake of defending sound doctrine, given that the debator has God's glory at heart, right or wrong?
| 2009/7/14 20:44||Profile|
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Quote:You've posed a good question. I think you are right coupled with Greg's and PaulWest's admonitions.
Is debate for the sake of defending sound doctrine, given that the debater has God's glory at heart, right or wrong?
| 2009/7/14 21:26|
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If someone can debate and sin not,
If someone can debate and exhibit a humble spirit,
If someone can debate without malice, elitism, hostility, and being cynical,
If someone can debate without harassing, abusing, degrading, or insulting others,
If someone can debate and keep a cool head,
If someone can debate without making this website
If someone can debate and respect the moderators,
If someone can debate and show patience, politeness, and benevolence to others,
If someone can debate and show a worthy behavior before the unconverted and young Christians,
If someone can debate and impose not upon others,
If someone can debate and have a clean and serene conscience afterwards,
If someone can debate without prejudging and have diligence to read and understand what the others are saying,
If someone can debate and be willing to admit mistakes, misses, and to ask for an apology,
If someone can debate with reverence, and use not the name of God in vain...
Perhaps one should read the exchanges between Wesley and Whitefield, or between Arminius and Junius and see how they behaved.
Perhaps it would be helpful if one would be extra careful in arrogating to himself the apostles' or the Lord's authority.
| 2009/7/15 1:22||Profile|
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I think debates should be done with the fear of the Lord. In other words we need to judge ourselves harshly while dealing slack to the other person.
Obviously, if we have fear of accounting to God for our behaviour and speech on judgement day we will tread carefully. Furthermore, God takes very seriously how we treat His people, we are not to damage His body, since His body is the vehicle through which God is saving the world.
So in light of this, if you aren't harshly judging yourself, and if you aren't afraid of His judgements then you shouldn't be debating really. :)
I just had my brother in law stay 3 days, he is a liberal/charismatic. The whole time all he could do is find judgements about me and kept shutting me down since he only wished to talk about his ideas and his ways. :)
God bless you all,
| 2009/7/15 1:34||Profile|
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That was a good post (passerby). All points would help with a godly debate, except possibly the one, 'If someone can debate and impose not upon others'. That one might be tough, otherwise there would be agreement and no debate. I think to not impose yourself on another is to agree or not care.
The church today doesn't have much use for Tozer's prayers that prophets come back to the church, not carring for the praise or consent of men, but rather the praise of God. In these last days I think the two will ofen be mutually exclusive.
| 2009/7/15 1:37||Profile|
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What I mean by 'imposing' is being pushy, or forcing
others to our brand of beliefs and doctrines.
...clarify, explain, expound, elaborate, inquire, suggest, analyze, define... could we not a find a way to do that without being pushy or declaring a war.
| 2009/7/16 22:27||Profile|
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MARK THEM AND AVOID THEM--"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." (Romans 16:17)
SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THEM--"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you," (2 Corinthians 6:17)
REPROVE THEM--"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Ephesians 5:11)
TURN AWAY FROM THEM--"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2 Timothy 3:5)
REBUKE THEM--"...rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;" (Titus 1:13)
REJECT THEM--"A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;" (Titus 3:10)
WITHDRAW FROM THEM--"...we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." (2 Thessalonians 3:6)
HAVE NO COMPANY WITH THEM--"And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed." (2 Thessalonians 3:14)
RECEIVE THEM NOT--"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." (2 John 1:10-11)
TRY THEM--"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)
| 2009/7/17 4:43||Profile|
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That was an interesting reply.
Seems sound doctrine trumps 'unity at all costs'.
First pure, then peaceable.
Does it not come down to short term/long term?
It is easy to have 'short term' unity when doctrinal disputes are squashed, set aside, given up on, or not allowed, but sooner or later they come back and cause 10 times the damage than if they had been dealt with up front. Whereas if the church would bite the bullet up front and deal with the doctrine, long term unity is possible.
Unanimous agreement is not even totally neccessary, so long as it's clear to all that the issue was looked at and a conclusion came to.
I'm speaking for congregations, not for this site.
| 2009/7/17 11:57||Profile|
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From A W Tozer...
If the church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher. The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting. Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many) he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom.
The church has lost her testimony. She has no longer anything to say to the world. Her once robust shout of assurance has faded away to an apologetic whisper. She who one time went out to declare now goes out to inquire. Her dogmatic declaration has become a respectful suggestion, a word of religious advice, given with the understanding that it is after all only an opinion and not meant to sound bigoted.
| 2009/7/17 12:04||Profile|
| Re: Is debate divisive?|
I was blessed just the other day by reading some about George Withefield and John Wesleys debate, and later after many different events George Withefield wrote this in a letter to John Wesley:
[i]He wrote to Wesley in October, 1741: "May God remove all obstacles that now prevent our union; may all disputings cease, and each of us talk of nothing but Jesus and him crucified. This is my resolution, I am without dissimulation. I find I love you as much as ever, and pray God, if it be his blessed will, that we may all be united together."[/i]
seeing they where in different camps they came to the conclusion the doctrines are important, but Christ have said "love one another" , we often ask what doctrines does this church have, or that preacher hold to etc, but how few ask "do you love one another" in your church? does this man love in te divine sense as Christ loved? regardless of doctrine, this is what matters, Christ will not ask how pure of a doctrine we had in that day, sure doctrine are vital, but when doctrine become the "main attraction" we missed it. God is love, not a doctrine, even tho there are doctrines that are vital, let us be reogniced not by our doctrine, but by our love, let not others "stamp" ,"calvinist" nor "arminian" or any common label in christianity due to our much speaking of doctrine, our christendom is a sad state iof that is so, let them call us Christians due to we love so much. But by all means, love and faulty doctrine will cause multitudes of heresies also, we see it all around, so we need to have two legs when we walk.
does love accept all things? Jesus did accept the pharisees doctrine, yet most went to hell of them, he did not accept the Sadducee's(unsure how to spell that) teachings or the herodians... so i just want to have the focus on the main thing.
Debate that causes division by two brethren, no matter doctrine is not Good, no matter if we are defended the right doctrine without truth in our inner most being we are nothing more then the pharisees Jesus sent to hell, they preached right doctrine, the pure doctrine, the word, the letter, and they where so caught up by doctrine and the purity of it they missed God, they missed love, they missed the greatest act of love throughout all eternity due to their fixation on right doctrine.
So let us be careful in our watch against false gospels, false doctrines, and call nothing false, Jesus did not call false, nor the Apostles. What they did call false and to beware of we also can say beware....
but let us focus rightly....
| 2009/7/17 12:32||Profile|