Arguing for Argument’s Sake

St Michael and Satan - Coventry Cathedral

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. Luke 7:36 (36-50)

As Tim Chester points out in  his book “A Meal with Jesus”, in the gospel of Luke, Jesus is either, going to, coming from, or at, a meal.  This passage is a case in point.

There is a lot happening in this passage but I just want to reflect on one thing. Why did Simon invite Jesus in the first place? He had obviously “forgotten” his hostly duties. So why was Jesus there? We can only guess at his motives.

One conclusion I have come to is that he wanted to argue with Jesus in order to destroy Jesus’ reputation in front of his other guests. Jesus was certainly not an “honoured” guest. Honour was only shown by the sinful woman.

Over the years I have encountered numerous people who argue, at best, only to have a good argument, or at worst, to destroy and belittle. They will argue about faith, Scripture and the finer points of doctrine but the motive is not honourable.  Their intention is not to discover, learn or refine, but simply to win points, make others look foolish or just have a good fight. Too often I have seen this occur in Christian circles, with combatants justifying their behaviour with sanctimonious claptrap.

Let us remember the Bible is the book of life and death. It is not a book intended to enable us to play foolish games. It is there for us to find out about the Messiah and His kingdom, and God’s purposes. It is there for us to shine light into the world. I can’t think of too many arguments that have shone that light.

Categories: christian, Christianity, Devotional, Faith | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Arguing for Argument’s Sake

  1. Thanks for your posts. You put it so well: the “foolish games” some people play can so easily discourage and confuse, and all to often they distort the focus on the Good News God has for us, and which we all need. And yet God sometimes needs warriors (but don’t call on me, Lord!). If only our warriors kept the real Enemy in their sights! Thanks also for your photo of St Michael slaying the Dragon at Coventry: I so loved what we took in during our short visit there.

    • Thanks for your comment Fred. I remember too many past battles were with each other and not the enemy. Sometimes we treated each other like the enemy! I agree we need warriors! An aside: standing in the old Cathedral in Coventry and seeing the inscription “Father Forgive”: moved me to tears.

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