Wednesday, November 19, 2014

flames of debate

I stumbled onto a train wreck on social media, the kind where someone poses a question concerning a hot bed issue hoping to incite some worthwhile discussion.  The flames of a heated debate ignite and it becomes an ugly, opinion and emotion driven battle.  The fire dies down eventually, leaving all parties just glowing embers of something that was, raw from the destruction.

Then I opened my Bible and read Titus chapter 3 and my heart leapt when I realized what God was showing me.

"This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.  These things are good and profitable unto men.  But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."

It's easy to take on the attributes of a Pharisee: so wrapped up in doing and being and appearing "just so" that we forget Jesus.  We get critical of ourselves and twist and morph into an image we've devised in our minds.  We get critical of others, playing the judge, rather than loving. 

Hot bed issues, such as the one I had stumbled upon, will not be resolved by debate.  Hypothetical questions cannot be answered.  After everything has been said that can be said, no one is the wiser.

Charles Spurgeon recommended some strivings that should be avoided, things that could become social media train wrecks if not marked and avoided:

~ points where Scripture is silent (basically, if you can't back it up by Bible, move on)
~ mysteries that belong to God alone
~ prophecies of doubtful interpretation
~ modes of observing human ceremony (those man made traditions that become religion)

I'm reminded here of the verses in Matthew 15:8-9 :

"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

We are to be gentle, showing all meekness unto all men (Titus 3:2).  We are to go about the Lord's business: loving, doing good, being fruitful, showing kindness, turning from evil, serving joyfully.

And if you feel you must ask questions, do it of yourself.  Turn the enquiries on your own heart and soul.

~ Do I believe Jesus?
~ Am I growing in His grace?
~ Am I walking with the Holy Spirit?
~ Does my conversation speak well of the Lord?
~ What more can I do for Him?

Honestly attending to these questions will leave you changed, unable to partake in the needless strivings on social media.  You'll see the vanity in the drivel.

Become consumed by serving the Lord and loving human beings.  There won't be time for anything else.
Depart from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
Depart from evil and do good;
and dwell forevermore.
Psalm 34:14 and Psalm 37:27

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