Riley Clark
I'm an RN with no formal theological training, just a hunger to know God more through His word!
User since 2019
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The Dark Side of Biblical Debates
Winning a religious debate does not make you more religious.
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Published August 7th, 2019
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Main point summary
The Arc
Main point summary
The type of religiosity that God approves of is caring for the needy and not partaking in sin.
It is common to judge your own religiosity by how great your knowledge is of the Scriptures and how well you can argue for your beliefs. It is all too easy to leave a Bible study feeling very righteous because you knew all the right answers and were able to argue for your points well. But God does not judge our religiosity based on how sound our convictions on predestination are or how much knowledge of Him we've compiled. In fact, even if our doctrine is biblically sound, if we express our beliefs via anger against others or via an unbridled tongue, God views our so-called religiosity as worthless. As we were warned just a few verses before, "let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (v. 19-20). Discussing differing opinions of the Bible can be helpful, but be careful to exercise grace and self-control with your words, as an unbridled tongue only leads to destruction. Rather than our biblical knowledge, what God values is whether we are being obedient to his commandments by avoiding sin and caring for the needy, not whether we can win a religious argument.
The Arc
James 1:26-27
If anyone thinks he is religious
If a person thinks he is godly/spiritual,
q and does not bridle his tongue
and does not exercise self-control over his words
but deceives his heart,
in other words, he is deceived into thinking he is righteous,
this person’s r religion is worthless.
then this person's so-called spirituality is not worth anything.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
But this is the kind of spirituality that God approves:
s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction,
that is, taking care of the needy
and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
and not partaking in the sins of this world.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.