Is Debating Healthy?
NCW 33, April 1996 (Part II)
Q. Should New Covenant Christians get into debates with other Christians or unbelievers?
If by "debates" you mean "quarrels" then the answer is definitely "no". If you mean a "discussion" then the answer is a qualified "yes" provided the participants genuinely want to find out what the truth is. Most debating usually entrenches the opposing parties more firmly in their positions as each party considers it a matter of "honour" to defend their position no matter what. This, as Christians, we cannot countenance.
As ever, only the Holy Spirit can lead. If a discussion is about to follow I always ask the "Golden Question", viz.: "If what you believe in is wrong, would you want to know about it?" If the answer is negative, then I always avoid debate. It is only if the parties concerned are open, honest and humble that New Covenant Christians are ever encouraged to get into discussions. We do not believe in playing "scriptural table tennis" as some Churches are wont to do, that is, hurling scripture references like missiles in the hope of destroying the opposition's arguments. We believe strongly the old saying which goes: "Someone convinced against his will, remains of the same opinion still." It is the spirit, or atmosphere, which determines whether or not a discussion/debate will serve any positive use.
It is the calling of the Elders, however, to sometimes demolish lies and deceptions. But they must have the Spirit of God with them first for it must be the Spirit that the enemy cannot resist rather than the words. We do not need to be expert orators to defend the Gospel; we need only have the Holy Spirit.
This page was created on 9 May 1998
Last updated on 9 May 1998
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