Do not quarrel about words

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 2 Timothy 14

Paul is not telling us that as Christians we need to adopt a “go along to get along” attitude. If we see teachings or practices in our church that go against God’s Word then we must confront the issue. But that confrontation needs to be in love. We need to point out the error and show the offender God’s truth.

What we are not supposed to do is quarrel over things. And we especially need to not quarrel over little things that I like to categorize as “color of the carpet” issues. These are things that have nothing to do with Biblical doctrines or issues on which God’s Word is silent. They are issues that amount to personal preference. One example is should the pastor wear vestments or a suite or maybe jeans. These types of issues need to be decided as a church body but once again they need to be decided in love. Yet it is exactly these types of issues that seem to divide churches today.

The days of division along doctrinal issues seems to be for the most part past us. Today we are more likely to divide over what music the music minister chooses or if we should raise our hands while we worship or leave them by our sides. Sometimes we just need to let things go. If I don’t like a certain song, maybe I should just sing along realizing that one I do like is coming up. If the person next to me wants to keep their hands by their side or raise them up during worship does that really matter and if it does what does it say about my attitude to worship. Am I paying so little attention to God that I can keep count of what everyone else is doing with their hands?

Who does all the quarreling hurt? Everyone. It hurts members who feel forced to take sides. It hurts visitors who came in seeking and are turned off by the constant arguing and bickering. It hurts the body as rather than grow we shrink. Seekers leave and believers leave and some of them never come back.

If there is one thing that is stressed in the New Testament it is love. If we approached each other in love rather than in anger we would see most issues dissolve into nothingness.

Have a blessed day,

David

PS: I felt I would be remiss not to mention the division going on in US churches today, mostly in the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches. These divisions are being caused by doctrinal issue as the main church body moves to an increasingly liberal interpretation of the Bible. Breakaway churches of both denominations are trying to move back to or stay faithful to a traditional interpretation of the scriptures as well as traditional creeds. For the most part this is being done on a congregation by congregation basis.

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About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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