When Not To Argue

Far too many Christians enter into theological or doctrinal discussion when they shouldn’t. That is not to say they should not ask sincere questions because they genuinely desire to learn. But even then they should be cautious in attempting to go further when they are not knowledgeable on the subject.

We tend to act like we are experts on every subject; many people simply desire to state their opinion or their position without knowing their opponents argument. Some people simply have not invested in the proper amount of study on a subject to interact on a given topic on a meaningful level. We are prone simply to just assert our own positions and being seen as always right.

No individual should ever enter into a doctrinal  discussion if they do not understand or know what, well, what they are talking about. It is perfectly fine to admit ignorance on issues especially as long as you are willing to study and learn. But do not argue when you are without knowledge on the subject. By all means be informed of your own position. Not just what so and so says.

If you only know your own position on eschatology (study of the end times) and not that of others it is wise to avoid trying to prove them wrong and show your position right. In fact to do so would reveal your ignorance and not be helpful to your own view.

Take the time to listen and learn what your opponents believe. Many books have been written, sermons preached, conferences produced on given topics. It is just not very productive to prove your position is the most correct one when you have not shown for your opponent that you have invested in the proper study on what they believe. In fact you won’t be interacting much because they may be spending far too much time correcting your misunderstanding and misrepresentation of their views. It becomes counter-productive.

For the longest time I refrained from engaging on the topic of baptism. I learned that I did not understand my paedobaptist brethren’s position. So for years I stood back, listened, read and learned, from them, what they believed. It was not easy nor simple. Quite the contrary. It was time consuming and tiresome and really stretched my own mind because it challenged some of my own views that I had not really been challenged on (that tends to happen when you only interact with your own circle). Of course I remain a firm Reformed Baptist but now I understand, even though I disagree, with the paedobaptist position (to some degree). Now we can, hopefully, interact on the subject on a more meaningful and productive level.

In conclusion do not engage in argumentation if you are not serious about learning and have not learned what the other side believes. Remember this Proverb, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion” (Pro. 18:2).


Listen, learn and engage. Remember you are not always right.

Soli Deo Gloria!

For His Glory,
Fernando

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