Thursday, June 18, 2015


"You actually believe you DON'T have to be baptized in water to be saved?"
Surrounded by classmates, John, a brother in Christ, responded with anger to my answer.  He had asked me a question concerning water baptism and salvation.
"You have to be baptized in water to get the Holy Spirit!" He continued.
 I was very uncomfortable.  He was arguing doctrine with me in front of non believers.
"If you two Christians cannot agree why would we even want to listen to you about God?" Steven huffed and then walked away.
My heart sank.   John kept it up.  "You have to be baptized in water to be saved!"
I excused myself and John followed me down the hall trying to continue the discussion.
A few others followed behind John .  They didn't want to miss the show.
"John" I whispered.  "We should not discuss this here in front of everyone"
"Why not? You know I am right!" John interrupted me.
The others had smirks on their faces as they whispered to one other.
John was clearly upset because I would not argue with him.

Do you argue with fellow believers just to prove a point? 
 I have.  At the time it made me feel powerful and intelligent. 

Paul warned about this very thing.

"They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions" 1 Timothy 6:3-4

Let me be clear, I am not arguing the point of water baptism here. 
I am very concerned for the way believers go about "discussing" their views on secondary doctrines like water baptism, speaking in tongues, predestination, communion, creation, King James Version Only and a few others.

I have heard pastors preach hate from the pulpit toward those who do not have the same beliefs.

I have seen written personal attacks on Facebook when other believers don't agree with a secondary doctrine.

What happened to respect and love? 

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

If we as believers cannot  reason together, in love, why would any non believer want to join the family of God.

Are we too afraid we might be wrong?   I know, for me, I was afraid to be wrong.  How prideful of me. 
 I had to ask myself  "Do I have to be right or do I want to be obedient to Gods #1 Commandment?"

“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself."  Luke 10:27

Am I loving God and others by arguing?

Not one of us has a complete grasp of the Bible.
Please take time to study the Word in its complete context, Apply love in every discussion.  I have seen views change, including my own,  on secondary issues, after taking the time to study the Scriptures.

We can agree to disagree. The most loving families don't agree on everything. 

"In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all 

things, charity." - historically attributed to Augustine

After a few one on one conversations with John we agreed to disagree.  We actually apologized to the class for being rude.  A few classmates came to us and thanked us.   We were able to share our faith with them.

Isn't that what it is all about?

Will you join me is discussing secondary issues calmly out of  love, respect and mutual admiration for our Lord?

Can you agree to disagree on secondary issues?

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."  Colossians 3:17

Let us acknowledge the words of the Apostle Paul

"Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you."
 2 Corinthians 13:11

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copyright 2015 Cherrilynn Bisbano


  1. So true, Cherrilynn. Not only do arguments between believers destroy their fellowship but it turns off nonbelievers. I've been guilty of it before. I try to send up arrow prayers in any conversation where someone wants to argue in a hostile way. There are times for discussion, but God's love for each of His children will hopefully shine through as we talk to each other.

    1. Amen Sherry. Yes, arrow prayers are a part of my life too. So very important. Thank you for commenting

  2. Oh my, my stomach cramped in pain as I read your story about the argument. It's like watching a car accident, it's horrible, yet you can't look away. Yes, please let's not fight in front of non-Christians - or fight at all! Christ came to bring reconciliation, not division amongst those who love Him.

    1. Amen Josie, that is how my stomach felt as he chased me down the hall. Gods riches blessings to you my sister.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post. You are SO RIGHT! It grieves God's heart when we quarrel--- especially in front of non-believers. Thanks for this post.

  4. Thank you Connie, I have learned from my past ignorance yes I called myself Ignorant God is good to help us

  5. I like that you brought up love. Even if a doctrine is critical, we need to speak the truth in love. And love knows when to let a less critical issue slide by. I am glad members of your class were able to see things become calm again. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you Katy, Yes, even with discussing the Primary doctrines we must have love. God is the one who changes hearts. I am amazed at how He uses us to spread the Word. What an honor and privilege. Gods riches blessings to you my friend.

  6. It is so true that our witness is so import, and once ruined it is hard to repair. Speaking the truth in love to one another is important to believers and non believers, it is how others know we are followers of Christ.

    1. Amen, Patty, God reminds me of how I felt toward believers,when I was unsaved; if they complained or spoke badly about another person, I did not want to hear about their God. My prayer is that I will be a fragrant aroma in unbelievers nostrils not a stench. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can I do this. Blessings to you my friend.

  7. Yes, we should absolutely behave respectfully when discussing doctrine. No one has complete understanding of the scriptures - ever. And we must not be a stumbling block to those who are learning. God cares more about our heart for Him than about rules and regulations - just as he looked into the hearts of the Pharisees who were putting rules above the bigger picture of loving Him. Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love others as He has loved you. Amen!

    1. Amen Cathy May our hearts be steadfast after Him. Thank you so much for responding.

  8. Thanks for this important word for all communicators for Christ, Cherrilynn. I'll highlight your post on the Christian Poets & Writers blog - God bless you and your loving words in Jesus' Name.