To the Brothers in Battle: Christians disputing Doctrine
The wonderful things I have uncovered in theological and doctrinal studies have led me to a place today where I have uncovered many deep mysteries, and yet still have so much more to learn in Christ. Such joy comes as a result, until we are faced with challenges inside our own walls of Christianity. From denomination to denomination, there will always be disputing Christians of different faiths who do not agree with our own doctrinal beliefs. This can move quickly from friends to opponents, and Christians against Christians. Arguing can cause stress, divisions and calloused attitudes toward our brothers and sisters and their religious faiths. I have seen simple disagreements turn ugly quickly. Insults began flying, egos soared out of control, and it suddenly became a game of who could outshine the other in front of an online audience. It can go from a lovely discussion on salvation in Christ to a brutal sparring of Christians arguing doctrine. While the bible tells us in 2 Timothy: do not argue doctrine, how easily and quickly it can happen, usually with righteous intentions.
We have all seen online forums become a war zone for hot debate, criticism, degradation, blatant insults and an all out war of Christians arguing Christians. While it’s common to see Atheists attack Christians, Christians engage in battle just as often over some doctrinal or theological viewpoints. The battle can get very ugly when it comes to disputing Christians of different faiths and denominations. I have been guilty of this myself. If someone is on a different levels of learning entirely, it may prevent them from agreeing with another viewpoint. To make matters worse, some claim to engage in “theocratic warfare” yet they use dirty fighting, insults and abusive tactics to win the battle of Christian wits.
What we are doing is fighting on the battlefield for Christ. You may have opponents who have been listening to the same record playing over and over for possibly decades, hearing the same phrases, being told the same sentences, and even praying the same way inside their own churches. They hear it and they repeat it. When we hear it, we may also be inclined to repeat what we have learned or been taught. Someone you disagree with may be doing the exact same thing, coming up with an entirely different understanding. Some may never open their spiritual eyes to a rebirth in our Savior. They may see your words as they read them as “doctrines of demons”. Think about that. As a result, they’ll auto respond in their minds to thinking I’m following Satan when I claim I follow Christ. They will tell you they won’t judge if you are influenced by Satan or not, but they are not being honest. There are cults such as Jehovah’s Witnesses who are taught inside their walls that we Christians are of Satanic Christendom, yet we know in our hearts that we live in Christ and strive to do His Will. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, honestly believe Christ is not to be worshiped, because He is Michael the Archangel. They believe it is sneaky demons who have convinced my poisoned mind that the Messiah is my God. Really… think about that. Imagine being told that you are a follower of Satan, because you claim that Christ is your Savior. It is very easy to get caught up with arguing doctrine with very little time to think about the outcome.
Please remember brothers and sisters, that in Christ, we continue this walk. As we are all at different stages at different times in our lives, one can never know of the trials and tribulations of our fellow brothers. Nor do we know the extent of knowledge that the Holy Spirit has provided others through various circumstances. Never assume a fellow believer to be ignorant in his or her spiritual walk. Try to remember that the work we do for Christ always must be done in love. It seems very hard sometimes not to engage when we truly believe someone is being misled by corrupted doctrine. Also, we are placed under the microscope as well, and challenged to present a defense for our understanding of scripture. The simple act of defending ourselves with what we know is truth can get combative fast. In the case where you are amongst the audience or participants of Christians arguing doctrine, it is wise try to keep in mind the scripture by the Apostle Paul:
2 Timothy 2:14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.
Keep up the good fight in faith, brothers. We know that as we mature in Christ, we become that much more accountable. Make the best of your walk in Christ, even when it becomes tiring. You’re doing it to glorify Him who gives you new eyes, and “spiritual” life. For that, may the Lord bless you in your spiritual endeavors.