The Argument

I was on high alert as I entered our seaside chapel for a prayer meeting. A heated argument could be heard. Because of past trauma, angry voices make me highly anxious.

‘Sarah’, and ‘Elizabeth’ were having still another of their many disagreements.

This time it was due to the fact that Sarah had brought a beautiful arrangement of lupins in a vase to place in front of the altar. These gorgeous large wildflowers bloom in abundance in Newfoundland in the summer.

Alas, Elizabeth had already placed an artificial arrangement of pink and white blooms in that spot.

This irked Sarah, who felt the need to remind Elizabeth too loudly that artificial flowers were not allowed in Catholic churches.

Elizabeth felt that the fake flowers were fine. She said that they were more practical, and would look cheerful for years. She said that she felt sad when real flowers started to wilt, and she felt that they were messy.

Sarah confidently defended her position. Real flowers take a prominent place in the Church since live flowers represent the sacrifice of life. Symbolically, flowers represent Christ’s sacrifice for humanity.

Finally, ‘Joan’ , our group’s peacemaker, suggested that Elizabeth place her artificial arrangement at the back of the church. Four years later, it is still there, looking as cheerful as ever.

When Christians bicker and argue, it is, what RJ Dawson calls, ‘a bad witness’.

When Christians are very vocal about who is right, and who is wrong, our ego-filled petty ‘battles’ are unlikely to draw others to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

It is inevitable that we are going to disagree in some areas, but may our differences of opinion always be worked out in a spirit of love, and mutual respect.

Photo of Newfoundland lupins on Pexels

33 thoughts on “The Argument

  1. Nothin’ new here! πŸ˜‰ Remember Euodia and Syntyche in Philippi! And it’s not just women! Remember Hymenaeus, Alexander and Philetus from Paul’s letters to Timothy. We all need His grace at some point, hopefully before we get to Philetus’ status.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks very much. I’m going to look up these people to see if the reasons for their disagreements are mentioned. For sure, we all need His graceπŸŒ·πŸ€—.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We just did a study in Philippians for Sunday school, and the reason for their disagreement was not mentioned. But we concluded that they were not arguing over anything as important as doctrine, because knowing Paul, he would have taken sides, and he didn’t. πŸ˜‰

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  2. I so agree. Being right is pride talking, the opposite of the humility God expects of us. Arguing with this pride is a horrible example and we all need to strive for peace in Jesus’ name.πŸ˜ƒβ€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tonya. Ann Ashenaur, has also mentioned a t-shirt which reads : ‘I’m not arguing – I’m just trying to convince you that I’m right.’ πŸ˜„

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    1. Hi David – Yes, I often sing that song to myself. ‘We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord….and they’ll know that we are Christians by our love…’
      I’m sure we’ve all seen incredible examples of Christian pettiness.
      Thanks so much for this comment.
      May the Lord bind Christians together in a spirit of love. πŸ€—πŸŒ·

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When such disagreements occur the air is usually thick with the stench of pride, insteady of the sweet fragrance of humility and love. May we always remember His call to love one another, especially in difficult times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Alan. Great comment – ‘the air is usually thick with the stench of pride’
      Indeed let us remember our Lord praying that we would all be one in the Spirit. πŸ€—βš˜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sally, unfortunately more often than not we see people in church get caught up in something like this and like you said we will have difference of opinion with people but may we do it with respect and love. Vocalising said disagreement is one thing but also learning not to truly feel it in ones heart is what God would want from us and I am trying to grow in that area.

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    1. Thanks, Manu. I think that we are all growing in the area of accepting that opinions differ. Let us keep praying for a spirit of unity within the body of Christ. πŸ€—πŸŒ·

      Liked by 1 person

  5. β€œDon’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” – 2 Timothy 2:23,24

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  6. Thanks Sally. Good post.

    The New Covenant Scriptures teach us how to deal with our differences with one another and the inevitable conflicts. We all have various levels of understanding and knowledge, but it should be obvious that only the Lord knows everything. Nevertheless, from a New Covenant perspective, He also instructed us to do our best to know what He knows and study to show ourselves approved. He made it very clear that He is our only definitive Teacher and Mentor. He is our Master, our one appeal to authority. The better we know His teachings the more prepared we are to know what He expects of us toward doing His will, and teaching and assisting others. We must strive to be mature disciples.

    The answer then, for starters, is to actually read the New Testament. We must start with His teachings as relayed in the gospels and then study the Book of Acts to see how the original Christians actually understood and applied His teachings. We must make and understand the connection between His teachings, their application, and the great spiritual fruit the first believers achieved as a result. This is a multi-generational effort, of course, just as Peter said in the very beginning, in that as long as we keep doing it the right way, spiritual fruitβ€”the evidence of the correct application, will continue coming forth.

    Also, we are instructed to always do our best to obey the Golden Rule and treat one another with love (major challenge alert). We must work hard (very hard) to never let anything overcome the love we should have for one another. Learning this can be very difficult (what else is new?) but extremely beneficial. Since we are commanded to be like the Lord and do as He did and act as He acted (which appears as a complete impossibility), there must be something more beyond our usual applications as Christians. This is a very high calling but perfectly doable.

    The main point, however, is that New Covenant Truth must never be sacrificed for the sake of getting along with one another. Truth must be taught regardless of the consequences. Some will take to it like a thirsty man in the desert. Others may not understand, reject it, or find fault. Teaching done properly includes the use of tact and wisdom. When there are differences we must find common ground. This keeps the relationships alive and intact. In this way Truth and Love both remain. Neither one is sacrificed. Though we may disagree on some points we also continue agreeing to love one another.

    Let us not forget that the Lord Himself was sometimes very strong and pointed in His teachings, directives, and various rebukes, and that it made it very challenging at times to remain a disciple and stay humble. Several of His followers left Him throughout His ministry.

    Regarding β€œThe Argument” (whatever it may be), we must be teachable. It is the only way to learn. The Lord has made it possible that each of us can read the Gospels and New Covenant Scriptures on our own at our own pace and learn directly from the Lord Jesus. We also learn from one another. Our objective should be to know His teachings so we can appropriate His Truth and discard anything else. We must strive to never be in conflict with Him and His teachings.

    Thanks again. Blessings to you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, RJ, for these great observations. As you say, we must have a clear understanding of what the Bible teaches. Jesus shows us how to react when believers show differences of opinion. May the Lord richly bless you and your family. πŸŒ·πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

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