How to Win Doctrinal Arguments

I live in a house with three children, the oldest is 13. One thing you must know about children is that they do not think like adults.

I am an adult. I think in a way that my children do not think in. This results in them always doing everything wrong. Always.

At first I would try to correct everything because everything was wrong. Now, after living with children for 13 years, I have come to learn that a guy must pick his battles. This is another evidence of thinking like an adult.

Children don’t pick their battles. Children battle about everything. If you don’t think so, come spend an evening in my house. Everything is battled. They argue about commercials, food, current events, football scores, their names. Everything.

This gets tiresome. When I say something now and one of my kids says, “Nu-uh.” I will go one more time and say, “Yup it’s like this.” If they say “Nu-uh” one more time I say, “OK.”

I am following the Apostle Paul here, “if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.”

Although we are told to have “childlike faith,” this does not imply that we should be like kids. We are also told, “when I became a man I put away childish things.” Childlike faith is one thing, being a child in all things aint right.

There are people who like to argue doctrine and will argue every single doctrine all the time to everyone about everything. The best response is, “OK.”

There are certain doctrines that have some wiggle room. There are certain doctrines that are stepping stones to better doctrine, a phase that must be passed through. There are doctrines not worth fighting about.

Perhaps the better way to put it is: there are people not worth fighting with. Let the young believer hold some weird doctrine, knowing that they will grow. Bashing every point of doctrinal inquiry may ruin their faith.

Detect those people who argue about everything all the time and learn to remain silent. Let em go. They aren’t interested in what you are saying anyway, that’s why they can’t stop talking.

In Paul’s instructions to pastors, he several times mentions that pastors should not be people who argue and are quick to anger. “Strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.”

The best way to win doctrinal arguments is to avoid them and just go live your doctrine.

Confidence in what you believe is seldom demonstrated by arguing. True confidence is able to stand firm and not be shaken. Confidence in the truth does not result in emotional, verbose tirades and personal attacks.

All that being said, there is a time and a place to point out error and argue. It comes when your daughter repeatedly cuts the cereal bag instead of pulling it open and cuts it so low that whenever you pour a bowl of cereal half the cereal ends up in the box rather than the bag.

This is the torment I must live with. No man should be subjected to such things. This must be defeated NOW! This is a battle to be fought and won!

Choose wisely, my friends. Fight the right fight.

Advertisements