Dealing with Disputable Matters

Titus 3:9   (KJV)   But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

This is as straightforward as straightforward could be: we have to avoid foolish or ill-informed questions or discussions, foolish and proud discussions about genealogies or spiritual pedigrees, contentions and/or quarrels and/or dissentions and/or fights, even Titus 3.9 - Dealing with Disputable Matterswhen we’re dealing with the Law or God’s Word. Why should we avoid them? Why not get involved with these seemingly helpful discussions? It’s because they are unprofitable, useless, they’re a waste of our time, energy, and effort.

Aren’t all questions and discussions about God’s Word beneficial? The answer is obvious. We’re to avoid discussions that are foolish, disputable, and controversial. We avoid discussing teachings that lead to quarrels and fights. These are argumentable teachings that may be very clear in the Bible but the most well-meaning and most well-intentioned of us interpret very differently from each other.

“In essential teachings, we have unity; in non-essentials, we have liberty; in all things, we have charity—we have love.” There are essential teachings in the Scriptures; they are clear, absolute truths we don’t compromise. We teach them, spread them, discuss them, propagate them, and defend them. Then there are the disputable ones. We study them; we unbiasedly interpret what they teach. We believe what we humbly understand about them—with full conviction and persuasion. In dealing with those who believe otherwise; we keep our beliefs between ourselves and God. Why, I’d we’d rather talk to our brothers and sisters about those cardinal, non-negotiable teachings and practices that unite us, and lead us to loving each other deeper rather than those argumentable interpretations that lead to heartaches, quarreling, and even sin.

If any of you find a better and more Scriptural approach regarding disputable teachings or interpretations, I beseech you to educate me. Our hearts are after the Lord; He is the Truth; there’s no problem for us waving a white flag, bowing our hearts, and bending our knees to the authority of the Truth. Otherwise, let’s keep loving each other, united, and teaching the essential things of the Kingdom: righteousness, love, truth…

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Indispensable Faith

Romans 4:20   (KJV)   20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God

We “give” glory to God when we’re strong in faith. Yes, faith matters. It’s worth is certainly upheld and emphasized when it comes to salvation.  My proposition is to keep on maintaining its value and worth in our lives as believers.  I’ve heard that there have Romans 4.20-21 - Indispensable Faithbeen extreme teachings about it from a certain group bearing something as important as faith in their name.  I’ll be quick to point out: I’m not a part of their group, nor do I identify with them.

This is also not in any way a rejection or denunciation of the group or any individuals from their group often presented as heretics and false teachers.  Personally speaking, the worst, most extreme, and most heretical teachings I’m aware of that they purportedly teach are those I’ve heard and read quoted by their “attackers.”  Truth be told, even those with audio and video clips, it’s possible to understand the logic in what they teach when taken in proper context.

Pardon me for always trying to make sense of the teachings of our brothers and sisters in Christ in areas where we may differ.  In the non-cardinal, negotiable doctrines, I firmly believe what I believe is true, but then again, they may be right, and I may be wrong. Why fight?

Going back to faith: it’s indispensably essential in our lives.  With it, we appropriate God’s grace for our salvation; we live by it instead of sight and feeling; without it, there’s no way we can please God, and as we just read from the above passage, with it, we give glory to God.  Many of our desires and prayers are answered by God according to our faith.  A quick clarification: we ought to not presume our prayers are not answered because of lack of faith.  I won’t cower from saying this though:  it’s possible that it’s also because we do lack faith.  That statement is in no way for the purpose of condemnation; it’s to encourage us, just in case we really need to step out and step up in faith and we just haven’t done so.  If we know we already have, that’s great; that part is at least already taken care of.

The Lord encourages us: “Have faith in God.”  It’s direct: it’s something we have to do; it is also suggestive: we may not have the faith we ought to have, but none of us dare call out our Lord as being condemnatory.  We understand what He’s saying; let’s extend the same gracious attitude to our brothers and sisters who encourage others to walk in faith. With love as the greatest motivation, our walk as believers is by faith—from start to finish.

 

Conquered Thoughts

2-corinthians-10-5-conquered-thoughts

2 Corinthians 10:5   (KJV)   Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Even in the church, there’s always an ongoing threat of contra-biblical teachers and teachings. There are good-intentioned people who are very opinionated too. There are those who aren’t aware of their biases. They end up with adulterated beliefs that they try to convince other people with. Instead of leading others to a stronger, deeper, and closer relationship with the Lord, their doctrines and practice become sacrilegious.

With love and care, with wisdom, gentleness, and boldness, with restoration as our goal, we show them their errors. Our correction isn’t based on our own opinions; God’s Word is our authoritative basis. The most important and cardinal teachings are laid out plainly and clearly in it; there’s no confusion about them. There, we cast down and take captive erroneous positions and lead them to a place of surrender to the Truth.

There’s no compromise as to this. We’ve been given effective spiritual weapons. They are mighty; they do what they’re supposed to do. God’s Words themselves will accomplish the purposes for which they are sent—not one word will fall to the ground wasted. We take our weapons and use them. Love doesn’t stop us from correcting, rebuking, reproving, and disciplining, it urges us. True love speaks truth, even when it hurts. We who love God also welcome the truth, even when it hurts. Missing the Truth is more serious than many people reckon. Jesus is the Truth: we love Jesus; we love the truth; we prefer Him over everything and anything that goes against Him, no matter how wise-sounding or spiritual-appearing they are. We pursue the truly sacred, not just the sacred looking, and we have the assurance of God’s smile upon us because our basis is His revealed will.