There are some things worth contending for, and other things not. Of course that doesn’t mean people can’t have a pleasant exchange on a lesser matter, such as whether or not one holds to the teaching of eternal security, or how one might see end time scenarios (I think I hold to a post-tribulation position, but I”m so rusty on all of that, I’m not sure I could engage in a good conversation on it).
At the end of Thomas Aquinas’ life he had a kind of revelatory visitation, or revelation from God which made him think that all the amazing words he had written were of little or no value. Of course that was not the case, but our evaluation of life should change as we grow older and more experienced, hopefully walking faithfully with the Lord, or growing in that, over time.
It isn’t having differences–which is inevitable–that break us, but how we handle that. And learning to sort out what is more important, what matters most. For example while I do have strong thinking against popular eschatological books–on end times–I do believe it is essential to hold in faith that Jesus will return, that God will complete making all things new in him. In so many other matters, I would like to find mediating ground. In fact with any of God’s people, though we may disagree over more serious matters, such as whether a follower of Jesus can fight in a war, or take a life, we still need to appreciate why we hold to our positions, and realize that God in his grace and by the Spirit is at work in all of his people everywhere, to make us more like Jesus.
I don’t look down on those engaged in theological discussion. In fact I think that’s wonderful. Some have a calling to engage and write on those things. It is the manner in which we do it, or decide to abstain, which is important. Do we do so out of love, and a desire to follow Jesus more closely and faithfully? Is it because we want to better understand God’s revelation to us in Jesus found in scripture, and the story we find there?
Avoiding theological squabbles as in trying to win an argument, is part of following Jesus in this life. Even as in love we seek to understand God’s revelation and will in Jesus better, so that we can grow in living that out more fully together in and for the world.
Iron sharpens iron – in a way that has truth at the forefront. Let’s leave faulty motives aside. Good word Ted!
Amen, nmpreach! And thanks!