One reason that I enjoy the blogging format is the wonderful opportunity of interaction that it provides. On occasion great discussion has broken out on this blog- as well as numerous others. It is dialogue- a wonderful exchange of ideas and perspectives. How healthy! How- can I say- biblical!
Scripture directs us to dialogue. Consider all the “one another” passages. Wow. Dialogue is at the heart of these commands. How can I love, forgive, have tender affection for, encourage and support others in God’s kingdom without talking to them- without getting to know them?
Then there is our responsibility to “sound doctrine” or “healthy teaching”. Check out Titus chapter two. It is all about the older demonstrating God’s will to the younger. How can this happen without dialogue?
And dialogue is key to working out misunderstandings and disagreements that occur. Jesus laid out some very clear teaching (Matthew 18:15-17) on how to handle these type of problems. It involves face-to-face discussion.
Yet with all of this divine direction, why is it that we sometimes choose division over dialogue? All discussion ends. Folks get entrenched, often angry, start completely ignoring the “one another” responsibilities and then go separate ways- all even in the name of truth and God! I don’t get it.
Even if the disagreements are sharp- our attitudes and tongues should not be. If Christians who disagree cannot sit down with mutual respect and dialogue through the issues- what kind of witness is that to a skeptical world?
Is truth threatened by dialogue?
Does “defending the truth” give us licence to suspend clear biblical teaching on how we treat each other?
Dialoguing in the way Scripture leads us solves problems, builds trust, brings people together and generates good will. I think God is for that!
I know he is not for division.