Avoid them


What good is having a blog if you can’t use it to rant just a little? 🙂  I have been in a discussion on another site with someone who is arguing against the grace and love of God by telling believers they should be focused on sin and condemnation.  It is frustrating, time consuming, and fruitless to get into these arguments.

You know the people I mean.  They just can’t stop.  Their logic is stretched and their words are cutting.  These guys pull out verses and claim certain Greek skills and ignore any real challenges to their ideas.

Paul met these folks, probably much more often than you or I do.  His advice?

9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. Titus 3:9-11

17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. Romans 16:17

Avoid them!  Don’t let them suck you into their traps.  It’s hard.  I find that I want to speak out against their lies and errors.  But it is a trap.  It distracts you, upsets you, and you don’t win.  They will have the last word, no matter how stupid it is.

Yes, sometimes I do speak up.  I seem to think that I can get a word in as a teacher.  But I have learned that it will be unfruitful.  The best I can do is help others see the foolishness of the other’s position and statements.  I confess that I almost always come away feeling used and dirty somehow.

In the discussion I have been in this morning, the arguer referred to the pain and struggles of those who have come out of legalism as “dog poop” and “dog piles.”  I shouldn’t have been surprised.  When logic fails, be prepared for the jabs and depersonalization.  Like the narcissist, the legalist will use whatever means he can to “shut you up” so it can look like he has won.

Then, if you ever do manage to paint him into a corner, he cowers and cries and wonders why you are so mean.  He ignores his own attacks and cruelties and projects that on you.  By trying to counter his statements, you are hurting him.  And, again, he wins.

So Paul says to avoid them.  That makes a lot of sense to me.


Filed under grace, Legalism

6 responses to “Avoid them

  1. Tammy C

    I don’t think I have ever read that verse. Warped. Interesting.

    It certainly must be difficult not to try to set them straight.

    There is so much wisdom in the Bible. Paul gives good advice. I believe that legalists are so entrenched in their beliefs and tunnel vision that your are right – they will resort to anything to convince others that they are right.

    They will attack and attempt to discredit those that stand up to their legalistic (and sometimes narcissistic) views.

    Please accept my encouragement! Your blog posts are so insightful and when I finish reading them the first word out of my mouth is… Wow. You really get it that God made us so that he could have a relationship with him, and do it of our own free will.

    Grace is a gift that cannot be earned or lost. This is a beautiful thing.

    Be of good cheer and be encouraged. Don’t let those with “warped” views distract you from your mission and your message.

    Hugs and pats on the back from Florida!

  2. Laura

    Thank you for this insight and for sharing that verse from Titus, I hadn’t read it before. When I was in college I used to spend time with some of the MDiv students at my christian college and I would listen to them get into elaborate theological arguments with one another, mostly (it seemed) to parade their education and fancy vocabulary (words like “posit” were favorites) and when it came right down to it they would talk themselves right out of the grace of God and champion the “truth” according to them. And of course anything that didn’t support their “truth” (even Scripture itself) was considered apostasy. Thank you for reminding me that God’s message of grace is simple and intended for all people (regardless of fancy arguing skills and Greek classes:)

  3. Onward

    I know you have heard over and over again that those of us who follow your blog benefit greatly. Anyone who does not understand God’s grace misses the mark and does not understand the gospel. Matt 10:13-14…let your peace return to you…shake off the dust of your feet. Focus on those of us who know to receive. Thank you for what you do.

  4. Ad hominem…attack the person instead of the argument. Classic narcissist tactic. And often used by the faceless and often nameless bloggers and trolls lurking online just waiting to pounce. 🙂

  5. Angela

    ..all so-o-o-o true, and boy did this come at an opportune time. I have spent the last few days avoiding repeated attacks by my daughter-in-law via email. This lady has a little issue with histrionic PD, which is too much like narcissistic PD, but with 100% more drama.
    I have been heartsick for days about this, as I didn’t want to “get into it” with her, partly because I prefer peace, and partly because she gets violently ill when these hurricanes of emotions get out of hand which they always do, and she can’t see that she starts them and won’t quit til she finishes them also. There is no such thing as being gentle, kind, logical or in any way diffusing trouble. Trouble is inevitable. Same as with narcissists. When I “discovered” narcissism and how prevalent it is in my family and my families relationships I went into a state of shock of revelation. I guess sometimes when God “performs an operation” it is not always fun to go through. But I think the thing to remember is “go THROUGH”..and come out the other side, healed.
    Posts like these help me to remember to stay strong, I am not alone, and I am not crazy. One day at a time, and one prayer at a time…and not to forget how much God loves these people too…and that I do not have to be in their faces or presence to pray for them. (easier to pray for them when you are far enough away that they are not screaming their hatred at you anyway)
    God bless you.

  6. Penny

    Great post & great replies! Jude reminds us that even Michael the arch angel would not argue with idiots, but instead said, “May The Lord rebuke you!” I often mutter this under my breath… Thanks, Dave.

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