By Aaron Evans
A few weeks ago, I found myself going back and forth about predestination with some people on my hall. After about an hour, we were still divided, unable to come to a conclusion on the issue. As tensions rose, someone finally broke the argument by saying, “OK, I think it’s something we’ll never fully understand, but our ultimate mission is to spread the gospel and God’s love to others.”
Silence. There was no room for debate in that statement.
Since the beginning of the church, people have gotten into heated debates about literal six-day creation, predestination, free will, the rapture, denominations and the list goes on. But how do these conversations usually end? With hurt feelings and disagreements.
I think it’s safe to say that there are some conversations just not worth having.
Take, for example, creation. It is concrete; nothing about it is gray. God said, “Let there be light,” and there it was. It’s over; nothing to interpret. So, why are we still debating about creation? Whether it happened in six days or six million years, God still created the universe, didn’t he?
Conversations like these are hard to avoid at Asbury. The wonderful thing about having so many people who are devoted to God and know his word is that there is always someone talking about him. Really, guys, let’s stop and think about how much of a blessing that is. And it’s because of that investment in God’s word that we crave the truth, even about the smallest details.
But know this: I’m not condemning anyone. I am just as guilty—if not more—than most people.
It’s interesting to discuss things like predestination and creation, just to hear what other people believe. A part of us hopes to find truth in these conversations, that maybe someone would present a theory that gives us that desired “a-ha!” moment. But if there’s anything I’ve learned within the past year, it’s that there are some things about God we’ll never be able to explain.
Sometimes there isn’t a scripture for everything.
But where do these conversations lead us? Do they edify the body? Do they speak of God’s infinite love and grace to those who need it? Not usually. At best they provide clarity, but even the most harmless conversations can turn into a yelling match of “I’m right; you’re wrong.” In the end, no one is helped.
Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” In the end, this what truly matters: making sure the whole world knows the love of Jesus. There is absolutely no harm in swapping theologies—I do it all the time with people on my hall—but when these conversations lead to heated arguments, as so many of them do, it’s time to think about why we’re even arguing in the first place.