Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening.” vs. 142 Timothy 2:14-15
Religious folks love to wrangle over words, especially if they have been educated beyond their intelligence. We see it regularly in our congregations as people engage in ferocious debates over the different nuances of meaning in biblical verses. It would just be silliness if the results weren’t so divisive. But sometimes there have even been denominational splits because people have had contrary notions of what various words mean for proper theological understanding. Of course we’re not going to agree on the fine points of biblical knowledge, mostly because we’re starting from different perspectives. We end up talking past each other, nobody really listens, and onlookers get confused. Jesus didn’t send us into the world to win philosophical arguments or to convince unbelievers that some complicated theological formula was true. We have been sent to love and care for others no matter what their political or theological perspectives might be. And it does absolutely no good at all to argue with anyone in the process. Now it’s fun to learn and it’s always helpful for us to grow in our understanding of the scriptures, but the bible should never be used as a wedge or a club. And when our conversations grow divisive, we need to stop talking and go to lunch!
Thought for the Day: How have people misused the bible with me?