Friday, September 7, 2012

Done Arguing

That's not me in the photo. I just like the tape effect.

Anyway, I'm done arguing. Specifically, I'm done arguing about theology in general and the church specifically. I've had enough. It's pointless, goes nowhere, and accomplishes nothing. Like the guy in the photo, I'm not arguing (of course, he can't talk at all, but that's his problem).

I've managed to avoid arguing about the church in person for quite a while now. If people want to know what I think, I tell them. If they object, I just leave it at that. No more arguing. I have a young Christian co-worker who believes many things about the church that I do not. Fine. I've avoided arguing with him. "It takes two to tango," so to speak. I'm not tangoing on this topic.

I've decided to avoid all arguing on other websites. It's all too easy to go to blogs by men such as Kevin DeYoung and Justin Taylor and stir the pot. They are firmly entrenched inside the institution as are most of their commenters. I have attempted to argue on these types of blogs for biblical church principles. It is to no avail. Defenders of the institution, who wrongly think they are defending the church, will not listen and only become angry. Nothing good comes of it. I'm done.

I will continue to blog about (what I think are) important issues related to the church. I hope for engaging, lively debate and discussion here on this blog. It may border from time to time on argumentation, but that's as far as I'll let it go. No more arguing.

This is somewhat of a revelation and relief for me. You may have already reached this point. I hope so for your sake.

18 comments:

Jeffrey said...

Bravo; The pilgrim has moved on; keep going.

Heather said...

I definitely have an issue with arguing - as in I do it :-) I mainly try to keep my mouth shut when I know that I am going to passionately disagree with someone. Most of my friends I can have a good discussion with, but there are some people that I talk to that are such polar opposites from me, that it is better to just not speak up at all, instead I just smile and nod.

Brian said...

It is entirely peaceful, isn't it.

I gave up arguing a long time ago. It has been a wonderful thing for me (and I am sure my family).

Swanny

Aussie John said...

Eric,

Wise words!

"I have counsel and sound wisdom;
I have insight;I have strength",so said a wise man.

"The treasures of wisdom are hid, not from us, but for us, in Christ", said the apostle Paul.

His next words are appropriate to your article, "These were hid from proud unbelievers, but displayed in the person and redemption of Christ".

You have found something precious; that which of which Paul spoke to the Colossians,"in Christ" NOT institutional traditions.

Eric said...

Jeff,

I'm trying, but I need your help. I'm glad we can all get together frequently. Already looking forward to Sunday.

Eric said...

Heather,

Thanks for commenting. There really are times when being quiet is the best option. I'm slowly learning this.

In the past I've fallen into the trap of thinking that my silence means I agree with whatever is being said. That's simply not the case.

Smiling is a great idea. I need to try that more often.

Eric said...

Swanny,

Thanks. Yes, it is a relief. No more trying to defend the world against what I might disagree with. Peaceful is a good word for it.

Eric said...

John,

Yes! Christ is the source of all wisdom and goodness. He is the one that changes hearts. It's not my job to do so, so I've stopped trying. What a relief.

Jeremy Myers said...

Good luck! Ha!

It is so easy to get pulled back into the arguments!

Not many people have been swayed by others arguing with them, especially those whose livelihoods depend upon the institution. So I think you are wise in your new approach.

Eric said...

Jeremy,

I'm sure it will be difficult some of the time. I'll still bring up topics on this blog that may lead to some argumentation of sorts; however, this will be my one forum for that. No more being difficult on other blogs or arguing face-to-face. We'll see how it goes.

Randi Jo :) said...

Enjoy the rest & peace! :) You know you've tried your best and now you can journey on.

Eric said...

Randi Jo,

Thanks! Looking forward to it.

Joel Zehring said...

Excellent resolution Eric!

Some thoughts that help me to sidestep arguments:

1. God demonstrates his wisdom in variety. He even delights to use things that I think are foolish. :-)

2. If the thing I'm sold on is so great, then the fruit will speak for itself. To that end, what the blogosphere needs is not more argument or punditry. What we need are more stories of the variety God's wisdom.

Unknown said...

I have felt the same feelings as you have. But some additional thoughts have come to my mind as I have pondered my feelings on my efforts.

When we share the gospel with the lost, we do not deprecate or down grade our efforts because the response is bad or seems to never be received. We know we are only messengers. Transformation is totally God's part. Should it not be the same as we challenge brothers to be doers of the Word, rather than tradition? We are only messengers not transformers.

We are not arguing when we present the truth and only the truth or when we rebut their bogus logic or twisted proof texting. We are "spurring one another on to greater love and good works". We are "seeing to it that no one has an unbelieving heart by exhorting one another daily".

How many years did it take you to work out the de-institutionalizing of your salvation? 15 years? At least that for me. We must extend patience and long suffering to our brothers who are trapped just as we once were.

Paul never told the Corinthians, forget you guys, I won't be writing you again. We can maintain heart level peace, like Paul, and even pass it out... "grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus"

Eric said...

Unknown

I don't usually respond to "Unknowns," but I will in this case.

You bring up a good point. We should speak the truth. I have no problem at all with this, and will continue to speak and blog about difficult matters.

However, what I'm not going to do is argue. If others disagree with me, that's where I'll stop. I don't think I've ever convinced anyone of anything by arguing. Come to think of it, I don't think anyone else have ever convinced me of anything through this means either.

No more arguing for me. Just trying to speak the truth in love.

Unknown said...

http://cyber-chapel.org/blog/?p=358#more-358

Here is an article by an organic brother looking at Paul's example for dialogue, debate, or disputing.

Our passion for delivering the truth should not be conditioned by the quality of the response. No doubt there is a limit to the time invested.

Frank said...

In writing the following, I am also guilty, but like Eric, I am on a learning curve.

Most of the arguments I see on Christian web sites are about trying to get people firmly back onto the Tree of Knowledge of GOOD!!!
I deliberately left the rest of the above phrase out, as obviously, no real believer would argue from the Tree of Knowledge of EVIL. However they forget that both good and evil fruits come from the SAME corrupt tree.

Jesus made it clear that a bad tree, one which bears bad fruit, cannot possibly bear good fruit. Therefore ALL fruit which comes from the Tree of Knowledge is rotten, even the supposed GOOD fruit.

Good or bad doctrine is not the issue. LIFE versus DEATH was the issue in the Garden, and still IS the issue here today.

I made a decision some time ago that if I wanted to persuade people towards what I believed and thought, I didn't really want to do it by theory and argument alone. I needed to be so full of life, that others would want to know what I was feeding on.
The answer to that question had to be that I eat from the Tree of Life and that alone.

Randi Jo :) said...

WOW that was a very profound comment by Frank. I have to chew on that a lot more.