Boaz Baptist Chronicles
|Posted on June 5, 2013 at 6:10 PM|
To spar or not to spar? That is the question.
A Brother asks… “So what qualifies as good debate and bad debate? A biblical answer would be most helpful in my life. A Brother I know made reference to "disputing" in Acts and it got me wondering about it. The thing that is bothering me is this:
Romans 1:28, 29…
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, """debate""", deceit, malignity; whisperers,.....
and… 2 Corinthians 12:20-21…
20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be """debates""", envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:
21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many """which have sinned already""", and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
I'm sorry if it seems that I am being difficult. I truly don't understand how it can be okay and not okay.
Here is my answer...
A "debate" could be a good thing and it could be a bad thing (or to quote you, Brother, last sentence—"it can be okay and not okay") depending on intent.
In II Samuel 2:14 Joab (the captain of David's host) THOUGHT that he was going to a nice friendly joust with Abner (the former captain of Saul's—now DEAD!—host) his JEWISH BROTHER!!!! (similar to sparring with your brother in CHRIST) and look how it all wound up...
"And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon." (II Samuel 2:16)
My foot note says that Helkath-hazzurim means "Field of SWORDS!!!!"
Now, to my answer…
I think it's very permissible with the Spirit of God and good will to spar with your brother and keep it on a friendly level so that you both may learn how the other side handles their sword and become a stronger soldier for the Lord. But, if you are purposely going into a debate with a BROTHER in Christ just to PREMEDITATEDLY cut him in the side to watch him bleed out, someone looking back might remember that place as "Helkath-hazzurim" and start a CIVIL (brother with brother) war over it.