Self-Indulging Debate

Theology is important, but sometimes, I am just tired of theological debates. I am tired because of the fruits. Many times, when I was hoping to know the Lord better, I ended up knowing how rude and proud Christians, including prominent writers and famous pastors, could be. I walked away feeling discouraged and defeated. The debates usually come in teams like these,

  • Calvinism vs Arminianism vs Open-Theism
  • Premillennialism vs Amillennialism vs Postmillennialism
  • Pre-Trib Rapture vs Mid-Trib Rapture vs Post-Tribe Rapture vs No Rapture
  • Cessationism vs Continuationism
  • Dispensationalism vs Covenant Theology vs New Covenant Theology vs Progressive Dispensationalism
  • Eternal Conscious Torment vs Annihilation vs Conditional immortality vs Others

Some theological debates do contribute to our study of the Bible, but many times, we are tempted to identify ourselves with a certain doctrine rather than Christ Himself. As a result, we hurt brothers and sisters.

I am not saying we cannot hold certain stands with good conscience. I myself, for instance, am strongly in favor of amillennialism and am no cessationist. But in the midst of debates, many of us lose sight of what our ultimate focus is: Jesus Christ is the one who holds us together, not amillennialism, or cessationism.

I also think we need to appreciate that the very fact that we cannot grasp the full mystery of God proves exactly that He is God and we are not. To admit we cannot fully comprehend such matters is to give God’s the highest glory.  In the case of many Calvinism/ Arminianism/ Open-Theism debates, for example, it may be helpful to remember that these ideas are bound by time. Humans are currently bound by time, but God is not. I agree with the great C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer that, it is completely absurd or even arrogant to use our human mind to put God, who is eternal and timeless, in boxes of “-ism”s that build their concepts upon human’s ideas of space and time. This kind of attempt is often just another way to entertain our craving for logic and knowledge, or even worse, to equate ourselves to God. May we continue to learn how to disagree in love especially in this explosive social media age.