With so many errors from believers, false believers and unbelievers debate is unfortunately an essential part of being a Christian.
Debate for Christ
Debate was also essential for Jesus. Pharisees constantly tried to undermine his ministry with references to the law.
Consider Mark 2:23-28. Jesus is criticised for letting his disciples pluck grain on the Sabbath. Jesus defended from Scripture his decision to allow this and proved the Pharisees didn’t understand the law correctly.
Christ’s Aim in Debate
Yet Jesus didn’t lose his focus in such debates. He always brought his hearers back to himself. In this argument he demonstrates his authority over the Sabbath and his graciousness in handling the law, doing what is best for man.
This convicted me in my discussions to keep this Christ-centred focus. Often I lay out a stellar argument, yet leave don’t draw back to Christ.
Let me exemplify. I will often want to argue for male headship in the home and in the Church. I know the texts on this issue back to front and inside out. Yet I often fail to convey some very important points:
- Marriage is an illustration of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Egalitarianism obscures the Gospel.
- Male headship should be like Christ’s headship, caring and sacrificial.
- Christ laid down this requirement because it’s for our benefit. Male headship is for the good of both men and women.
Keep me accountable and watch your own hearts. Never let debating move off Christ’s centre.