Why the Church Needs to Argue More

Why the Church Needs to Argue More

They say you’re not supposed to discuss money, politics, or religion. Why? Because those topics can cause arguments. But what if that entire premise isn’t a reason to avoid those discussions? What if the very reason why they say we shouldn’t discuss those topics is the very reason we should? By the way, who is “they,” anyway?

These three discussions seem to be locked in a safe, guarded by the all-too-concerned nicety guards. They are armed with shame tactics and outrage alarms. At the first attempt to enter the secret code “they” gave us and pull out one of these discussions, we see the big screen of memories pop up before us, displaying relationships being broken after pulling one of these discussions from the safe. We think twice, turn around, and run away, never to return again.

But what if it’s all a sham? What if these discussions were never locked in a safe? What if these guards are just figments of our imagination? What if there is no secret code? Yes. This is the case. And yes, these discussions can be divisive. But that doesn’t mean we should avoid them. No. Instead, we should bring them to a most unlikely place – the Church.

What is the Church?

The Church is the gathering of believers, it is the collective of Christ, it is you, it is me.

The Church can be on a back deck of a home pointing toward the beach. It can be a room in a friend’s home. It can be around a table. It can be in a bar or in a car.

The Church is when you are with a fellow Christ follower.

Yes, it can be the weekly gathering at the “church building,” too.

I thought arguing was a bad thing…

That’s because we’ve been doing it wrong.

According to our good friend, Google, to argue is to “give reasons or cite evidence in support of an idea, action, or theory, typically with the aim of persuading others to share one’s view.”

Google, like us, is also aware of the bad version where we “exchange or express diverging or opposite views, typically in a heated or angry way.”

The Church has the unique ability to argue in an atypical fashion. If you and I are bought by the blood of Jesus, indwelled by the Spirit, and adopted into God’s family, then we have the ability and responsibility to argue well.

Why the Church Needs to Argue More

Arguing can enrich, it doesn’t have to deplete. 

We must be willing to argue. We must be willing to take important issues, lift them up, and seek the truth together in genuine love, respect, and honor.

Why?

Because we’re called to be salt and light. We’re called to make a difference. 

After all, the most important topics we could discuss are the ones that are the most divisive. But that shouldn’t usher us away from arguments, it should usher us into them with open hearts and open ears.

The Church needs to argue well and argue more. 

Why?

Because when we do, we are able to create better solutions to the world’s problems and communicate more effectively the gospel of Christ.

#KingdomGoals

When the Church argues, it does so with the kingdom of God as the goal. 

The arguments are always calibrated toward what God’s word actually says. They move past talking points and arrive at the heart of the issue.

The Church is where issues are explored at depths never explored before. Like the submarines of a hundred years from now, the Church goes to depths where the pressure is too great to be explored otherwise.

Yes. Christ is our protection and the Spirit is our guide. They take us where the Father wants us to be – the heart of issues. 

At the heart of issues, it’s okay to disagree because the people around us in that place agree that the truth is the goal. When the Church argues more, Christ followers are engaging with important issues more. When the Church argues more, the world sees how to disagree with love, respect, and honor. 

Without argumentation, exploration ceases and problems are not addressed by the gospel of Jesus.

The King’s Kingdom and the King’s Passion

Jesus’ prayer shows us what the rhythm of our heartbeat must be:

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:9-10a

We are members of the King’s kingdom and heralds of the King’s passion. 

For His kingdom to come, we must engage. For His will to be done, we must have His passion be our passion. 

For the Church to do anything worthwhile, we must work out what the gospel says to our day and time, together, with arguing.

The Church can argue important issues with one another with love, respect, and honor. In fact, this is the only way. If it can’t be so, we aren’t being the Church, we aren’t being God’s family. 

We aren’t called to be heralds of the status quo. We are heralds of the gospel of King Jesus. 

Agree? Disagree?

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Brandon is the Spiritual Development Pastor at The Crossing, a church plant on the east side of Cincinnati. He is the author of Crucified to Life and Preaching Sticky Sermons. His passion is helping people discover hope and transformation in Christ. He & his wife, Sara & their daughters, Kairea & Piper, live on the east side of Cincinnati with their two dogs.

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