Healthy Debate

…we have dulled down the idea of `love others` to mean never get feisty with each other.


Acts 15.1-21

Reference:  v.6  The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

Explore:  I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but the other day I watched a bit of Question Time, where the Australian politicians debate certain issues in Parliament (let me clarify that I was sick, lying on the couch and couldn't reach the remote!!).  I was horrified yet again in how the leaders of our country define 'healthy debate' when they were yelling out, interrupting and being rude towards their opposition.
In this passage we read that there was a bit of debate amongst the apostles as to whether the Gentiles should be circumcised to truly be classed as a believer.  I wonder whether their debate was as feisty as the Australian politician's.  It is no surprise what the author thinks about this decision.  While there was 'much discussion' it seems that the only side of the debate we hear is against the idea of Gentiles being circumcised. (I'm not sure whether I would ask Luke, the supposed author, to ever minute one of my meetings!) However, if I know anything about passionate people, I'm sure there was much said within the words 'much discussion'.

Application:  As Christians, we are often under the false pretense that we must never argue.  I think we have dulled down the idea of 'love others' to mean never get feisty with each other.  However, if we never discuss and debate topics then some important aspects may get passed over.  I would hope that we express more love in our debate than what some politicians do, however I also hope that we don't shy away from a good debate that allows us to clarify our own thoughts and learn from others a different perspective.  Surely that is a healthy Christian debate.

Prayer:  Lord, I know I often feel uncomfortable when people disagree.  Let us always embrace one another in love but be willing to stand up for that which we are passionate for.  Amen.

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.