"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 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.
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?"
“ ‘ your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘ 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?
whatever you do, whether in or , 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 full restoration, encourage , be of mind, live in peace. And the God of and peace will be with you."
2 Corinthians 13:11
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copyright 2015 Cherrilynn Bisbano