J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

The L Y Life – How To Love and Fight

I used to have this truth meter and if I was speaking with someone and I heard them say something I disagreed with biblically, I would pounce.  Essentially, if I couldn’t change their mind with a quick, slightly sharp response, it was go time for a theological debate.

There were times that I shamed the name of Christ in this and lost several friends this way.

Now, when faced with theological error, I have a couple of questions I ask myself.  I think when should I address this topic and how should I address this topic?  Not every biblical disagreement has to be addressed at the moment.  So I encourage you to ask these questions:

Is their biblical error causing them harm in their day to day life?

If it is, then address it immediately.  For instance, if I’m sitting at the coffee shop and someone tells me that they live in constant fear because they are afraid that God is going to take their salvation from them and send them to hell.  I think that is pretty important as their misunderstanding of the secure work of Jesus Christ is causing them day to day anguish.

The next question is how to address it.

Typically I ask folks why they feel the way they do, and in this case, I would ask them what scriptures have informed their opinion?  When they tell me, and this kicker, I ask them if it is okay if I gave them a few other scriptures to consider.  Then we can have a peaceful exchange about something in which we disagree.  But not every theological issue needs to be addressed at the moment.  Typically issues like the people’s view of the end times, whether King Saul was saved, how Samson tied 100 fox tails together, and a host of other topics, really can wait.

We should always humbly ask if we should contribute our view on issues before engaging.  This is an act of love.  The overarching principle that we need to consider is this:

Does their supposed theological error lead them to sin or to despair?

If it does, then we should gently walk in those discussions remembering that we both can’t be right but we both can be wrong.  God and His scriptures alone is true.

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March 4, 2010 - Posted by | mission, missional, the ly life, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. I am totally like you were. I’m working on it, though… thank you for the reminder and the tips. A verse hit me this week during a Bible study that goes along with what you said about when to correct: the question should be, does correcting in this case lead to sin or despair?

    Speaking of Paul’s rebuke of the Corinthian church, 1 Corinthian 7:10 says, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

    I wrote next to the verse, “I should never make someone sad unless it points to salvation.” And oh how much I’ve failed in this area by producing merely sorrow that leads to death rather than salvation.

    Again, thanks for the reminder.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

    Comment by bondChristian | March 8, 2010 | Reply

    • I was very thankful to hear from one brother I offended years ago. Thanks for posting.

      Comment by jgordonduncan | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  2. Misquote… the verse is from 2 Corinthians, not 1 Corinthians.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

    Comment by bondChristian | March 8, 2010 | Reply


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