The Spirit of Debate

 

As I look back down through the years, I am reminded of certain things we did to others.

Until this day, I still cannot believe that we thought we were doing the right thing.  As we have all heard, there is a point to being older.  Not always, but most of us have become much wiser and much more informed.  It does not bother me, that many folk say we shouldn’t look back, even though there are scriptures for doing so.  We can rate our progress.

I cringe when I recall the kinds of debates we had.  We turned out in droves, to hear one of ours, debate against another minister that was of another denomination.  It was like two boxers, squaring off against each other.  We felt safe in believing that we were right, and our candidate would win.

I guess it didn’t really occur to the two, that they were both supposed to be Christians; striving to follow the same Jesus, believing and acting upon, what they saw as truth.

It’s been said before, but I can recall, how we treated others who came to our door, to witness about their faith, and their church.  It may have been a long time before we honestly looked at that.  Only later, did we realize that these, put us to shame, when it came to going door to door to be a witness for their faith.

It’s not amusing, but in a way it is; how we kind of swept all of this ‘under the carpet.’  I sometimes wonder how many of us, actually went back and asked forgiveness for the way we acted, and the spirit in which we did it.

What does this have to do with the Church of today?   It’s because, many are still doing that; even now.

Much of the fruit of the Spirit, is missing among people who should know, or once knew, better.  That kind of attitude and approach, followed many of us for years.

Since it was often acted out by those in some form of leadership, it is no surprise that too many adapted the same spirit.  It’s just a bit odd, that those open debates we had, were like two politicians squaring off against one another; like right now.  Like many do right here.

Scriptures that say it’s wrong?  Back in Isaiah, he spoke of those who even fast for what; “strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness,”  Isaiah 58:4.

Apostle Paul wrote to the church (Acts 19:3), about how those who had been baptized in the Holy Ghost, should act and the way in which they should present themselves to others.  He also talked about correction that was edifying to the church,  (Ephesians 4:11-13).  He had a fear. It was that when he got to this particular church, they’d reject him.

“Lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes (and that unwanted spirit of) backbiting,”   2 Corinthians 12:20.

We all knew that last one; but we did not fully acknowledge that this was, chewing people up behind their back.

I once heard a minister who was close to me, make a statement that I have never forgotten all these years.  He said that debate, was listed in the New Testament, between murder and deceit.  We’re not talking here about sugar-coating everything or catering to people who want to be cradle-rocked.  It’s about presenting truth to people, with love.

Ministers, Saints and all called and chosen for this hour.  It is time for us to get this sharp edge out of our spirits.

As the prophets wrote so cleanly, we’re not helping anyone.  We are driving people away; just as many before us did.

Do you know how people are going to truly know that we are following Jesus Christ?

How they will know if we have the honest truth we say we do, and are genuinely filled with the Holy Ghost?

Just as He himself said it.  By the way we love one another.  By the way we genuinely manifest, the love of the Spirit.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,”   John 13:34-35 (NKJV).

 

~ Robert Blackburn


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