Contending for the faith…
Arguing edifies! Yes, you read me right, arguing edifies both sides of the argument, if they will both be teachable. It causes both parties to think through their priorities, and search the scriptures more diligently. One of the major problems in the church today is that we have been taught to avoid arguing; a man that will not argue will hide the truth. We are afraid to argue, and we decorate that which we do engage in as “debate” or simply a “discussion”, but never an argument. What we will not defend, we will eventually condone, and what we condone we will learn to embrace. It is imperative then, that we “contend for the faith” as Jude instructs us, and do not be afraid to argue.
Edification is granted to us when we argue because we have to study more diligently for accuracy; it is edifying to the opponent because he is led to see things in a different light. I believe that a good argument bears fruit, and is part of “contending for the faith” (Jude 1:3). Though it often ends in a stalemate, or so it seems, it plants seed for thought and has long range advantages.
There is so much false doctrine in the church today that many have simply given in to it and condone it, but say they do not believe it. Eventually we do begin to believe it as we are exposed to it more and more, unless, that is, we fight against it. It is a gradual and subtle process. Even faith is a matter of growth; we do not begin “walking in faith” completely, but our faith grows as we learn and study the Scriptures. How do you suppose there were only eight righteous people in Noah’s day? It seemed the rest of the world had condoned sin, and allowed it, and eventually were caught up in it. Lot was headed that way himself, until the angels literally pulled him out of Sodom. Be careful of that which you condone, defend the faith “once delivered unto the saints“, and be steadfast in your convictions. In defending the truth, you grow stronger in truth, and you glorify the Father Who is the Truth.
If the preponderance of scripture is there, stand with it! If it is not, then search for it until the Lord reveals His Truth through it. Don’t be afraid to argue for the truth, though it stands on it’s own merit, we cannot ignore false doctrine, and think it is okay. We build stronger lives when we defend Truth.