But stay well clear of foolish disputes, genealogies, quarrels, and squabbles about the law; they serve no purpose and are worthless.
If someone is causing divisions, give them a first warning, then a second, and then avoid them.
You know that a person like that is twisted, sinful, and self-condemned.
As we wrap up what are called the “Pastoral Letters” (1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, & Titus), one of the things that struck me most was how often Paul wrote about not getting involved with foolish disputes.
It must’ve been quite an issue then, and I am thankful for this instruction because it is still an issue today.
I love how Paul says straight up that they serve no purpose and are worthless.
That has definitely been my experience. I have yet to see someone really start heading in the right direction as a result of quarrels about the Bible or debates on non-core theological issues.
Avoiding them seems harsh, but it’s only after the grace of a first and second warning.
Something I’ve thought of often is that I see no examples in Scripture of how we are to keep pouring energy into people who only want to argue and are not ready or willing to make a change in their life.
If anything, we see the opposite. At times, it almost sounds cold to “shake the dust off your sandals” and leave. Yet I do believe that is proper for those who Paul calls twisted (or warped), sinful, and self-condemned. The original language is such that these are ones who keep on sinning, after knowingly been warned. They keep causing division which is a very serious issue in Scripture, never to be taken lightly. They are in a hopeless state—though they do not have to stay there!
I definitely have fallen into this trap, sacrificing energy to those who had no intention of doing anything positive with it for Christ. And the worst thing about it is looking back only to see those who I missed who were willing do what it takes to grow in Christ.
But this is how we grow, and now I’m better for it.
A person who wants to dispute, quarrel, and squabble does not want to grow in Christlikeness.
I can relate o Warren Wiersbe’s advice and experience:
[A]void people who like to argue about unimportant the things of the faith….I have learned that professed Christians who like to argue about the Bible are usually covering up some sin in their lives, are very insecure, and are usually unhappy at work and home.