Peace…if possible. Truth at all cost! –Martin Luther
That being said, when do we: Argue, Debate…or Discuss?
When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet Jesus. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you are able! All things can be done for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.” Mark 9:14-29 (NRSV)
Why could the disciples not remove the unclean spirit? They allowed themselves to be drawn into an argument with unbelievers rather than into prayer.
When we allow ourselves to be drawn into angry argument, whether with unbelievers concerning God’s existence or with each other over doctrine, Christ departs and the Deceiver controls the scene as he dances his little dance of glee. If I argue solely to prove myself right, I’m already wrong. When it’s time to act, act – don’t argue.
A rational discussion among like-minded people for the purpose of learning from one another is much to be preferred. If it becomes heated or forceful it is no longer a discussion. Words can be used as a powerful, cutting weapon for Satan even when we meant them for Christ.
“Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are.” Proverbs 26:4 NLT
Fools will try to drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.