Denzel Washington starred in a movie entitled, 'The Great Debaters'. It was about a small black college in the early 1900's that became one of the nation's top debate teams.
I appreciated the movie for a couple of reasons. One reason is for the lack of profanity, which is not common for a Denzel Washington movie, which was really appreciated in my household. Secondly, the inspiring and challenging call for the youths, which in my case as a single parent over two young teen girls, was also appreciated.
Speaking of great debaters, this title is one that is becoming more and more common in the church. This title or calling is not appreciated nor warranted. Allow me to explain.
For the last couple of years, I have come across many people carrying the christian flag, but if not for their desire to debate me about every little theological issue or stance from the bible, I wouldn't even knew that they had an interest in biblical matters.
Recently during a bible study turned debate with a Church of Christ member, a Catholic and a member of the Anglican Church, we were approached by a non-believer. This person felt that all that we discussed was foolishness because of his belief of reincarnation. I immediately turned to the person and initiated a conversation in the hopes of leading him to Christ. However, due to the Church of Christ's member desire to continue to debate me, he jumped in the conversation to try to draw me back to him to finish our debate. The non-believer shortly thereafter, grew tired of what sounded like dissension, and walked away.
My spirit grieved. I immediately turned to the Church of Christ member and told him that we just failed that guy and our Lord. I told him that we had a home to go to when our life here was over, however this man was headed to the fire, and that our concern should have been towards him oppose to our non-essential differences. I then turned and walked away from him in dissappointment. He came to me shortly, sobbing, and apologized for not recognizing the calling to lead this man to Christ. I then encouraged him and moved on.
This is not just an isolated incident. Season after season, I am noticing many that are choosing to make a mark by continuously debating those who are called for another purpose, in the meanwhile they are distracting that person from what God is calling him to do. I have also learned many years ago, that these christians with this debating spirits are usually some of the first persons to stand alongside the unbeliever when you fall to say, "Aha, aha".
Now it is true that God has gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers. However, I see and recognize no annointing for debaters in the kingdom of God.
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