Her grin caused her nose to crinkle as she declared, “I love a good fight!” Probably not the wisest comment to make while discipling eight women in a Tuesday morning Bible Study, but we all laughed along with her. We knew her well enough to know she indeed liked a lively debate and took a little pride in her argumentation skills.
At the time, I felt a bit liberated by her offhand remark. Of course, I would have been careful in making any similar proclamation, and I think I’d feel a twinge of conviction if I ever admitted such a thing.
Of course, for it wasn’t really an admission. She clearly enjoyed that aspect of her character, and saw no conflict between her love of arguing and Scripture’s mandate to avoid conflict whenever possible.
22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. ~~2 Timothy 2:22-26 (ESV)
I have to admit that sometimes I find myself relishing a fight on Twitter. Rather than taking delight in this admission, I confess it as a sin. My enjoyment of a Twitter battle reinforces the world’s perception of evidence as brash bigots who care more about being right than about helping people understand the Gospel.
Yes, we must stand firm when others demand that we compromise the clear teachings of God’s Word. Please hear me on that point, ladies! When culture insists that we make concessions or when false teachers pressure us to modify the Bible, 2 Timothy 2:22-26 in no way advocates capitulation! Verses 25-26 clarify that we should correct moral and doctrinal error.
Such correction need not degenerate into vicious quarrels, however. As a matter of fact, the food fights that dominate evangelical Twitter only damage our testimony to the non-Christians who may be watching.
I know — Jesus confronted the Pharisees. Publicly. He even said harsh things to them.
He never engaged in prolonged arguments with them either. He spoke the truth without apology, but didn’t browbeat them into conceding that He was right. He left His vindication until Judgment Day. At that time, His opponents (as well as our opponents) will give account for their behavior.
Christ will also hold us accountable. Our tweets that seem so clever now may require some explanation when we stand at the Bema seat. Where we expect Him to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” He may call our tweets wood, hay and stubble.
Food fights on Twitter can be fun for our flesh. Those of us on Twitter should be honest enough to admit that fact (at least to ourselves). But let that admission be a confession of sin that leads us to repentance.