Heated Argument

Image by kurichan* via Flickr

As we complete the tenth month of broadcasting Stand Up For the Truth, today’s show was a microcosm on why we do this show to begin with.  There are many issues facing the Body of Christ these days.  Some are very meaningful and others are seen as useless, petty arguments that divide the Body.  This show hopes to bring these discussions to light, allowing us to have a respectful discussion, but pointing us back to the Word of God as THE source for absolute truth in our lives.

Being a true Christian and follower of Jesus Christ is not easy.  The world increasingly hates Jesus and His Word and Christians are under a strong microscope where everything we say, do and believe is open to scrutiny.  Look at Pat Robertson’s comments earlier this week, telling a man it was OK to divorce his wife who suffers from Alzheimers.  It has caused a lot of controversy within the church and the secular media, who takes every opportunity to make Christianity look hypocritical and unloving.

As the world grows increasingly wicked it will become more and more important that the church wrestles with issues of disagreement and determines just what is worth fighting over and what are useless arguments.  Only if it would be that easy.  As Christians we each have deeply held convictions that sometimes have been burned on our hearts and minds because of our own experiences.  A Christian who was raised in a family of abusive alcoholics is naturally going to look at any consumption of alcohol as destructive or evil.  A former nicotine addicted smoker is going to want to point Christians to the destructive nature of that addiction.

In 1 Corinthians Chapter 10, Paul writes that “everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial….Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”  Well that is a tough balancing act to maintain as a Christian.  How do we enjoy a glass of wine without possibly causing another to stumble in what might be their weaker faith?  Where do we cross the line from not causing another to stumble to being under severely legalistic restraints from others?

These are not easy questions for Christians to come to grips with.  “All things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial.”  Just where do we go with that?  Where we always go—the Word of God.  And instead of picking out a single verse that confirms our personal belief, we need to understand the entire counsel of God’s Word.  And we need to seek the Holy Spirit in prayer to ask God to convict each of us on our personal choices and behaviors.  And as long as we are encased in this fleshly body, that will not be easy; because each one of us is stubborn and prideful in our flesh.

Jesus never said it would be easy to follow Him.  And each one of us will get some things wrong in our journey to become true faithful disciples.  I think that is what Paul meant when he encouraged us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.   Every one of us will get things wrong and fall short of the glory of God.  But are we seeking His Word to show us what truth is?  Or do we already have a deeply held conviction that we are looking to validate with a single scripture, ignoring the full counsel of His Word?

So which issues are worth defending strongly and which are issues we should let go to the personal conviction of each believer?  I guess that’s one of the reasons we’re on this journey together on Stand Up For the Truth.  We’ll continue to be a public forum for discussion and always point you to the Word of God.  We’re not naïve enough to think we can answer every question or settle every disagreement through this show.  But as the world’s hatred for Jesus and the truth of God grows stronger, the fewer things we argue about as true believers, the better.  If as a church we can be uncompromising on the core of our Christian beliefs—while having grace and understanding on issues that are not crucial to our faith—we will be in a better position to be true light and salt to a world that desperately needs the eternal hope of Jesus Christ.