Isn’t it obvious that almost everyone wants to engage in social media bible debate, today ?
The reasons why most of this social media ‘debaters of the bible ‘ do their job is as ridiculous as the way and manner they go about it. They would say, “We are all born again, We all have the same Holy Spirit. Therefore no body knows more than the other person. We need no teacher. We’re one in Christ. Everyone has a Bible and can read it for themselves .” just to mention a few amongst the plenty funny reasons.
Twisting the tenses of the scriptures or the interpretation of the scriptures, just to support a fallacy, is wrong!
Firstly, I need you to understand that the act of debating scriptures is not a sin. Against the popular opinion of the day. It’s your knowledge, and your understanding of the message of the scriptures, and not just arguing because everyone is speaking on the matter, that matters.
The Apostles in different places and occasions, debated the truth of the scriptures with other “religious folks “.
28 After this, Saul moved freely among the disciples in Jerusalem and was speaking with confidence in the name of the Lord. 29 He got into debates with the Greek-speaking Jews as well, but they tried to kill him.
“And he went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, persuading and arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God.”
8 Stephen, who stood out among the believers for the way God’s grace was at work in his life and for his exceptional endowment with divine power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose from some who belonged to the so-called Synagogue of Former Slaves. Members from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia, and Asia entered into debate with Stephen. 10 However, they couldn’t resist the wisdom the Spirit”
Paul and Barnabas
1Some people came down from Judea teaching the family of believers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom we’ve received from Moses, you can’t be saved.”2 Paul and Barnabas took sides against these Judeans and argued strongly against their position.
Have you seen that the act of debating scriptures is not a sin at all? It isn’t!
Secondly, we need to consider the reasons why the apostles debated, and what they (the apostles) were trying to explain in their debates.
It’s wasn’t a “Don’t tithe or keep tithing matter” or “denominationalism against no need for denominations” not even the “Once saved for ever saved” against the “you can lose your salvation ” debates of the day.
You see, people who don’t have an understanding of the ‘Go mandate’ will always fall for distractions of any sort.
The foundation must be properly laid before public speaking.
First thing first:
The Go Mandate : Have you carefully studied Matthew 28:18-20?
18 Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.*
19 Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be)
The instruction was clear enough.
When we got saved we were enrolled into the school of the Spirit, where we keep learning Jesus (and His redemptive work for our salvation). We therefore make disciples (students) of the Gospel, as we were also made.
Debating the scriptures without the proper understanding of the ‘Go Mandate’, will eventually distort ones spiritual growth and sound doctrinal persuasions.
Let’s go back to the message the apostles preached, and how they presented their arguments.
16 Now while Paul was awaiting them at Athens, his spirit was grieved and roused to anger as he saw that the city was full of idols.
17 So he reasoned and argued in the synagogue with the Jews and those who worshiped there, and in the marketplace [where assemblies are held] day after day with any who chanced to be there.
18 And some also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him and began to engage in discussion. And some said, What is this babbler with his scrap-heap learning trying to say? Others said, He seems to be an announcer of foreign deities—because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.”
The motive for the argument: *THE CITY WAS FULL OF IDOLS. No personal sentiments. And it resulted to the preaching of Jesus Christ in the synagogue and in the marketplace where it was held.
Although they didn’t fully understand him and what he was trying to say, But it is remarkable to know that HE PREACHED JESUS!
Most debaters of the scriptures barely know the person, the mission and the efficacy of the death, burial and ascension of Jesus Christ whom they really want to defend in their arguments. Hence, they bend into personality attack and some very sentimental and often times judgemental positions.
You hear words like, “If you don’t stop idol worship, your destiny will be shattered”. Or, “I curse everyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ. They will never prosper! ”
Hello Preacher, what you call ‘Holy-Angerof God’, is nothing close to holiness and never can be seen in God. It is you who have become an angry bird. Like Jesus said in;
“But Jesus replied to them, You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor God’s power.”
You can’t be killing and cursing those whom you have been sent to reconcile back to God. Except for ignorance or clear case of foolishness.
19 It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).
20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. WE [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.”
Arguing scriptures without seeing and understanding the scripture above would be tantamount to self glorification and public show of shallowness in the things of God.
Erring, according to Jesus’ words, is caused by ignorance of the scriptures and ignorance of the power of God.
What is the power of God?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God!
1 Corinthians 1:24
“but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”
Apollos also argued with the Jews. But take note what his position was.
“For with great power he refuted the Jews in public [discussions], showing and proving by the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah).”
It’s always about Jesus and His redemptive work.
If the debate on Tithing, for instance is solely on sentiments or what almost everyone thinks about the act of tithing, and not a proper exegetical teaching on the topic, linking scriptures with scriptures and seeing the role the act of tithe has been playing in the body of Christ, if it is revealing Jesus or if it’s just a religious practice, if it’s a New Testament practice, with places in the early church where the believer in Christ tithed and why we too should tithe. It should never be sentimental and should never be done in a haste.
Doctrinal matters requires time.
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
The second part of this article, would be on “The Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Debate in a Hurry, And How To Present Our Arguments with Scriptures and Without Blasphemous and Emotional Words”
Thanks for reading. Please drop your comments ;contribution and questions in the comment box.
By Bro Ikenna