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The Anatomy of a Foolish Argument

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828ministries.com Headlined to H3 10/29/18

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Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. -- 2Timothy 2: 23-26 (ESV)

I did a devotional awhile back discussing my weakness for fruitless arguments. I was involved in several Facebook groups that I thought held similar views on discernment and false teaching. Unfortunately, they were vehicles for church hurt individuals to pretend they did not need anyone as they cast stones at the bride of Christ. Let me be clear, the apostate church does not serve God but there is always a remnant beloved. We preach discernment so that some may come out from the darkness and be liberated by the Gospel. The further these groups devolved the more we began to see that there are just too many people who claim the mantle of Jesus Christ but refuse to accept teaching or correction.

I remember one devotional I had written about a certain denomination and a reader emailed me on the side to say that this particular denomination actually had two factions and I had assigned the false teaching to both essentially when only one believed in it. I had not known this and when I researched it I discovered my reader was correct. I immediately posted a retraction and corrected the devotional. My delicate sensibilities are not the issue -- only the truth of the word of God is. People ask me all the time how I would feel if someone criticized me. First of all that happens all the time, and secondly, if I am speaking incorrectly about what God has said I welcome any correction. From my true brothers and sisters I expect it. I say these things as a backdrop to a recent conversation I had with another self-professing Christian on a "Christian" website. In this new world of malleable truth and shades of grey it is interesting to watch deception in action and what we need to guard against in our own discussions with people. The point is not to embarrass this person or point her out so there will be no link and I will change her name to Betty. Let us reason once more beloved:

"Satan is wasting his time? I don't think so. Neither does Jesus, who said the devil is here to steal, kill, and destroy." - Betty

"That verse is not referring to the devil but false teachers" - Anthony

Now the truly sad thing is that it appears that Betty and I agree substantively on the subject that was at hand. That said, one of the most commonly butchered verses is John 10:10 which says the thief comes to steal kill and destroy. This conversation should have lasted two minutes but our pride would simply not allow it. The bottom line is she claims that Jesus said the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy and there is zero question that He said no such thing. He said the thief comes to do this so the only question we must answer is -- who is the thief? The surrounding context is about Jesus being the true shepherd and how the false need to climb over the fence to gain access to the sheepfold. There is zero question that Jesus is saying the thief are false teachers. He is the true shepherd who brings the true Gospel. They are the false shepherds who lead the sheep astray with a false gospel. Betty was having none of it though:

"I think it can apply to all unbelievers, as in the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience, Ephesians 2:1-3." - Betty

"That is incorrect when taking the verse in context." - Anthony

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3 people are discussing this page, with 7 comments  Post Comment

Anthony Wade

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Please Comment

Submitted on Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 8:22:15 PM

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Ruth Sali

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Thank you Anthony. I needed this right now, today, as I am later on meeting up with a friend I always seem to end up in similar conversations/arguments with. Her blindness is staggering. And it has puzzled me a lot as of how to get the message across but at the same time remain loving, calm and graceful. It has seemed impossible for the both of us, me and my friend. It always escalates and our ugly carnal natures abound.... :(

After reading this article, my take home for tonight's meeting with the friend is this, quoting you:

" My job is to correct in love and move on before a foolish argument can fester. "

Thank you.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 at 12:50:51 PM

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Reply to Ruth Sali:

I know how hard it is lol. The next day after i wrote this i got drawn into yet another foolish argument. God is always working on me.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 9, 2018 at 1:22:20 AM

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Diana Nickel

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Thank you here as well. I have a similar discussion coming up very soon and this reminds me to pray for restraint, humility and love but not arguing (which is very hard for me not to do). New to your site and already so glad to have found it! Shared with my sister as well. Thanks again, Anthony!

Submitted on Friday, Nov 9, 2018 at 12:14:23 AM

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Anthony Wade

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Reply to Diana Nickel:

Awesome, welcome to you both!

Submitted on Friday, Nov 9, 2018 at 1:22:52 AM

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Ruth Sali

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Reply to Anthony Wade:

Thank you! :)

Submitted on Friday, Nov 9, 2018 at 11:38:39 AM

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Ruth Sali

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Reply to Diana Nickel:

Hi Diana, I am new here too and feeling so refreshed, encouraged and spiritually nourished. :)
I pray for you for your upcoming discussion. May our gracious Father put a guard on your lips and give you the wisdom to know what to answer, when to answer, and to know when to be quiet. May He fill you with His Spirit, may you be full of love and grace and manifest the character of Christ in your encounters.

And if you fail, like we all constantly do, may the Lord be merciful to you, forgive you and comfort you, may He help you to learn from your mistakes and failures without you feeling discouraged and dismayed.

May He pick you up from where you fell and encourage you to try again next time, with yet another lesson under your belt, with a renewed strength and understanding. All for His glory. How wonderful is our God who will skilfully shape us and mould us, teach us and try us, day by day transforming us into the image of His Son Jesus. :)

Submitted on Friday, Nov 9, 2018 at 11:38:08 AM

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