Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
~ 2 Timothy 2:23-24
I finally got the name of a man I had seen walking the path in the park where I walk. He introduced himself, and instantly said, “What church do you go to?” I thought, wow, here is a man who wants to talk about the Lord. How blessed am I?
I answered his question, and then I realized his motivation for asking the question. He wanted to drive home the point of the philosophy of his church. He was basically saying that the way I worship is wrong. He did not want to talk about where my heart was, or my relationship with the Lord, he wanted to argue for the doctrines in his church.
I did not bite onto his bait of argumentation. I just politely said, “That is nice. I imagine your church service is lovely, but I need to hop on my bike and get home. It was nice meeting you.”
Why? Oh why, do we so many times put great emphasis on trivial things, and forget the matters of so much more value? Such as: Where is your heart, and whom do you serve? Have you given Jesus your life? Have you come to Him in repentance, asking for forgiveness? Do you trust and obey Him? Do you love Him? Do you love others as you love yourself?
This is why there are so many different denominations of Christians. One believes this, another believes that. Even within a church, quarrelling can start in business meetings. Bickering in a church should never happen. It sets such a poor example of Christ-like attributes. Proverbs 20:3 says, “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Discourse resulting in division, hurts the church, and can damage its witness.
If one feels more comfortable in a church without walls or one with ornate walls, so be it. If one feels more comfortable in a church without instruments, or one with every instrument imaginable, so be it. If one feels at home in a church that speaks in tongues or one that does not, so be it. If one is more fulfilled in a charismatic service, or maybe one that’s more somber, so be it.
We should attend a church where God meets our needs, and the needs of our family, remembering to keep peace with our fellow Christians belonging to other churches. If their foundation and cornerstone is Jesus, and they have believed in their hearts, and confessed with their mouths, Jesus Christ, then they are our brothers and sisters. Christians are the church, no matter what building they attend. Remain united in Christ because a church that is united, is much more powerful than one that is divided.
I know on a road trip when my children would start bickering in the back seat, I became frustrated with them. If we have given God control of our lives, in other words, put Jesus in the driver’s seat, do we think He enjoys hearing all the fighting in the back seat? We must trust Him, and be at peace with our siblings as we travel this life. Don’t engage in silly, foolish arguments.
Dear Father, We are sorry we spend so much time arguing, instead of loving. Help us! Amen
~ Jenny Calvert