Wednesday, July 6 2022 - 5:56 PM
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Healthy Debate

Back and forth discussion, debate, and a candid sharing of divergent ideas is needed for progress to occur. Uniformity and unquestioned allegiance breed complacency and dictatorial leaders.

The early church encountered what every healthy organization needs to experience.

“While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: ‘Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.’ Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them, arguing vehemently.”

This discourse was not arguing for the sake of arguing. It was a debate over the core message of the gospel.

“Finally, the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question” (Acts 15:1-2, NLT).

It was a big enough deal that the church leaders (of the earliest expression of Christianity) were drawn into the debate.

Debate and dialogue are always healthy when entered into with a sincere desire to know the truth. Or when the purpose is to find the best answer to a difficult question. A church, or organization of any kind, should never feel threatened by debate. That is unless they have a plan that supersedes their mission.

If you liked this, you might also like Matters of the Heart | Why Debating the Bible Is Good for Your Soul

Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference.

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