Is Debating a sin?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by DiamondLady, May 31, 2012.

  1. DiamondLady

    DiamondLady
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    We've been studying Ephesians in our Wed Eve Bible Study at church and last evening we looked at Eph 4: 29-31. As we were reading and discussing the question came to me, is debating a sin?

    Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
    Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
    Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
    Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

    How much of what is done in the name of debating/discussing grieves the Holy Spirit, causes Him pain and hurt?
    How much is said in bitterness or with secret ill-will? How much is clamouring (jawing, have to have the last word, just won't let a subject rest?)
    How much is corrupt communication? (ungodly speaking)

    The more we discussed the more I came to realize that much of what goes on in the name of debate can not be pleasing unto God, not to mention is not done in kindness or lovingkindness.

    What do you think...is debating among Christians a sin?
     
  2. Mexdeaf

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    It's only a sin when the fish take it without getting hooked. Us fishermen call it "stealing" our bait...

    oh, wait a minute- you said debating. I thought you said debaiting... as in "those darn fish keep debaiting my hook."

    Carry on.
     
  3. ktn4eg

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    IMHO, debating per se is not inherently sinful as long as all parties keep their attitudes and remarks civil.

    Debating can become sinful when it deteriorates into name-calling and hurling baseless and unfounded accusations at each other.

    "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:" --- Philippians 1:27 (Yeah, I know that the word "conversation" here actually means something like one's manner of life, but our vocal speech [or in the case of BB, what we post] usually is going to reflect what our manner of life is.)
     
  4. saturneptune

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    What he said. With the Holy Spirit in each of us, we know when the line has been crossed.
     
  5. JonC

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    I think that it can be. A true “debate” argues issues which can lead to edification (ether about your position and views, or another’s position or views). But issues are debated. Much of the “debates” I have read tends to transcend the arena of genuine debate and goes into the area of quarreling. The issues become secondary to personal assaults (“you are wrong because…”; “Calvinists are…”; “Arminianians are…”). Issues are debated – not people. But for that to happen, both sides have to be able to consider the other’s views, listen to objections, and acknowledge that there are legitimate reasons one may hold those views (even if the reasons are based on a faulty understanding or different view).

    The debates on this board have helped me work through some of the questions that I had and also have helped me to examine my own beliefs more closely. So it is edifying and brings me to a better understanding of my faith. At the same time, I have on several occasions almost closed my account here because of the unchristian character of some of the “debates.” (I did “leave” for a year – but ended up coming back).

    So I’d say that debating is not a sin – but it can be.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    No, it isn't.
     
  7. just-want-peace

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    Agreed, but the accompanying attitude/response very well could be!

    I know that there have been many posts of mine that never saw the light of day simply because I believe the HS told me in no uncertain terms that I had crossed the line and was letting my pride/ego/selfishness take over rather than a rational comment/response.

    Even so, a few did sneak through, for some of which I felt I had to apologize.
     
  8. webdog

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    Debating is only a sin when you disagree with me. :D
     
  9. McWilliams

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    Scripture tells us that 'iron sharpens iron' and in a congenial debate we can sharpen our beliefs and come to discern truth more accurately. This of course is done all in the spirit of brotherly love, not in one up manship or trying to always be right or to put another brother down in criticism. That is ungodly behavior. One of my favorite pastimes is to meet and critique scripture and doctrine and come to a better understanding.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    I DISAGREE!

    (oh well......back to the confessional :tonofbricks:)

    :laugh:
     
  11. Jon-Marc

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    To me, "debating" is just a euphemism for arguing. A debate, however, can stay out of the realm of sin by keeping it friendly and without name calling. I did that with a friend once when we debated our differences of beliefs (he was Catholic). We didn't argue or call each other names and stayed friendly. So, debating can be but doesn't have to be the same as arguing, and it doesn't have to be sinful if it's kept civil.
     
  12. HankD

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    I don't think so provided that there is no hostility or condescension between the participants.

    Yes, definitely easier said than done.

    HankD
     
  13. Jedi Knight

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    I think allot of sinful attitudes flare up over in the debate form.......and sometimes over here too:rolleyes:. I have been guilty of tit for tat with believers and scoffers too. Scripture says by pride come contentions. Around on these forms with the temptation to let knowledge puff up....it can get out of hand.
     
  14. HAMel

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    DiamondLady, when you get right down to the bottom of it all..., I don't really think there is anything that we do either by accident or on purpose that pleases Him.

    The excepting being when we witness in His name; or preach/teach in His name; etc., but we are all filthy from head to toe and can offer not much at all.
     
  15. righteousdude2

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    You Have Hit the Proverbial Nail Smack on its HEAD....

    And the problem I've encountered on this board, time after time is that there are those who use this forum of debate to "brow-beat" other members for their opinions.

    There are few debates going on here that do not eventually end up with someone being attacked, put down, ridiculed, called names, referred to as something other than a Baptist, verbally trumped, bullied, cyberly thumped, and most of the time the intents of some, here are to drive the other member from the board [I know this to be a fact, as I have been told to leave the board numerous times].

    It would be great if a Christian debate could take place between members, but it seems that somewhere along the way, a fight breaks out.

    If people were civil, as you say, we'd have the perfect forum. However, because none of us are perfect, the idea or thought, or hope for a civil debate will eventually be gobbled up in the sin side of someone, or all those debating.

    A perfect example is the fiasco over mental illness, a week or so, and how ugly this topic became no matter how many times it was started under a new and improved title. I can't prove it, but it seemed to me that some were purposely taunting others to draw them into fits of rage, and with one member, in particular, the taunt's worked as this member went overboard and was banned.

    Is this Christ like? I don't think so...thus I have to say that there is little chance, whatsoever, that any hope of a civil debate breaking out on this forum is unlikely as long as there are those who leave their Christianity at the door. :tear:

    In the words of Rodney King: "Why can't we all just get along!" Well, the answer is, because a good portion of those who call themselves, Christian, are intent on burying the wounded and not tending to their wounds. There seems to be no tolerance for the weaker brother or sister [completely against the principles of Jesus], just the desire to tar-and-feather them and drive them out of town on a rail. How sad and pathetic a portion of the church has become. :tear:
     
  16. Arbo

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    Is Debating a sin?

    Depends on how one debates.
     
  17. HAMel

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    rd2, everyone on here is silently seeking praise, recognition and acceptance. Some hide behind the Bible in an effort to secure these most human needs and desires when in reality they have the cart before the horse.

    Dale Carnegie made a zillion dollars by capitalizing on the above mentioned needs with his various books and seminars and caused much change in the business world of yesteryear.

    Just consider the following; "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12
    Translation, (Do unto others as you would have others do unto you)

    The Word provided us the way long before Carnegie, but for some reason we just don't seem to put it into practice. If individuals would follow the advice provided by our Lord those basic needs described above would come to realization and all this verbal fighting and upsets would just go away.

    We grow by giving and we are all guilty of not giving as we should.
     
    #17 HAMel, Jun 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2012
  18. HankD

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    All infractions against the rules of civil debating can be successfully overcome by a little patience and discipline along with obedience to the scriptures:

    2 Timothy 2
    24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
    25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
    26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.​

    1 Peter 3
    8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
    9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
    10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
    11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
    12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.​

    HankD​
     
  19. DiamondLady

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    There have been some wonderful points made in this discussion. I think what I have come to understand most is the fact that there is no such thing as debate on a forum like this. Anyone who has participated on a debate team would tell you what is done here is not debate, it is, as RD2 has said, "brow-beating, attacked, put down, ridiculed, called names, referred to as something other than a Baptist, verbally trumped, bullied, cyberly thumped, and most of the time the intents of some, here are to drive the other member from the board" Like RD2 I have been told to "get out of" the debate forums. I've been condemned for participating because I'm a woman.

    I believe these things are clearly sin and I guess, more than anything, I do not understand why it continues and why it is allowed. I realize debates can get a bit heated at times, especially in a faceless forum where there is not a referee on hand at all times, but it bothers me that people seemed pleased with themselves when they've caused an opponent to "leave the field", whether by choice or not. I know that I pick and choose the topics in which to participate simply by who originated the post. There are certain posters, who I know from experience, will belittle and attack me and so I do not reply to their posts, even when I feel I would have something to add to the conversation.

    These are some of the thoughts I've had while reading the replies.
     
  20. Jim1999

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    DiamondLady, I offer my sincere regret that you should be driven out of debate because you are a woman. It is sad, to my mind. You, as a person, have much to offer, as do other women on the board.

    Agreed that attitude does enter into some debates and the whole purpose of the debate is lost. My approach has been to state my argument (case) and just shut up. On the other hand, there are many here who do offer reasonable arguments, and I appreciate those, whether it changes my thoughts or not.

    Cheers to all,

    Jim
     

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