Sunday, February 15, 2015

When Men Used to Debate

On my first job I saw two men in an argument. One was a plant foreman, the other worked for the railroad. The argument was about the location and timing of "spotting" a coal car. It quickly became heated. At this point one of them removed his work glove in order to shake the hand of the other. They introduced themselves and then continued the argument.

As a boy just out of high school I saw how men should handle disagreements. I have a terrible feeling that now a different path is followed. Anger and even murder are stirred up in debates. Within the realm of the church, the results are resentment, permanent separation, and lifelong animosity.

I think of such "opponents" of long ago. George Whitfield and John Wesley. Both were Methodists, but Wesley was Arminian, and Whitefield was a Calvinist. This same argument goes on today, but the way it was conducted then at our nation's beginning is a wonderful example of how it should be done. These two men exchanged letters for almost twenty years, each laying out his case, and remained friends.

I am not so patient. As a Calvinist, I recommend all Arminians just read Romans chapter nine, and let Paul do the arguing for me.

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