Can Iron Sharpen Iron

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Great Fiction, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Analogy
    Three young Christians study vigorously about the eschatological time frame of Christ’s return in relationship to the tribulation period. Each student then resolves to three different positions, and all three join a Christian forum which was constructed for the furthering of the kingdom. Each student is highly motivated to share, persuade and even win their ideas to others on the forum. Each of the three contributors then with motivation collides on several key threads that provide great opportunity to share. In the heat of the moment, while pulling scripture, axioms, and principle, they all three compete aggressively to win persuasion, yet to their frustration they discover that their individual ideas are not being reflected with the other two.

    In frustration one unfortunately leaves the forum, the second with a spirit of competition declares victory, and the third with a timid spirit tries to offer pragmatism and solace, yet all three were ultimately respectful as Christians even though the competing views were not respected at all. The whole exchange seems aggressive, yet void of pure insults, yet again had much challenge to discredit the other views.

    In this analogy if all three go back to their individual studies coupled with prayer, is it possible that the antagonistic contributions will “fortify” their existing position or “challenge” it? Yet here is the most significant paradox; I propose that the challenge will not happen during the threaded debate most often, but will happen instead “later” with future study and future debate.

    Shall this kind of debate that moves in forums all over the interweb then cause many to learn from every sword-fight where masteries of the word develop to stronger foundations. For in the great book of Daniel, we know that knowledge will be increased even till the very end. For with each individual that studies, meditates and will pray, the spirit will use the challenging knowledge to resolve. It will get tested by His word as we steady ourselves to rightly divide with the leading of His spirit.

    Though kindness, love and respect most obviously should always be first and foremost, can it be possible that the highly ardent exchanges in debate can move to the rigors of scriptural knowledge? Antagonistically one could argue fallacy may permeate, yet will not good debate also remove a weak foundation, if many in the faith contribute with scriptural truth?

    I only suggest that ardent exchange that often time seems to be a stand-still may be far more beneficial than we might possibly imagine.

  2. I've said it a number of times. Iron can sharpen iron if applies skillfully and appropriately, but iron can also pound iron into dust when it is constantly applied as a contrary force. I often see the Bible used as a weapon against fellow believers rather than for edification and understanding. On this site, we welcome a wide variety of ideas and Christian beliefs, but there are many that prefer to enforce their own paradigms and ideologies.
  3. From what I've seen on this forum and others, folks are seldom swayed from their beliefs, regardless of the evidence presented.
    There's an old saying " they did not use reason to establish their beliefs, and thus cannot be reasoned out of them".
  4. Your point is well taken, thank you kindly for your response

    I have also been a witness to some who will mandate a persuasion, only to disrespectfully marginalize any who oppose, using a vertical hermeneutic to condemn.

    Also your analogy regarding "iron" in addition, projects prudence.

    Yet, if Christ and kindness is the respected foundation, do you feel that ardent debate, which so often will show zero benefit initially, can indeed serve as a lasting benefit to many, who come after, and indeed those who participated in the unsolved debate, but the receive revelation upon future study after challenging their own position?

    I find this critical because so many leave a threaded debate feeling like nothing was accomplished, yet I find that even poor debate coming from faulty foundations is not lasting when scriptural truths are debated in return, ‘especially when the love of Christ brings it”.

    Thus the growth is most often embedded in a latent period of time as the Spirit gives revelation.
  5. Yet do you think it’s possible that the growth in the individual which benefits highly form this great ministry happens not always in the current exchange of posts, but through time?

    Yet I must agree with you that some will remain galvanized never learning, always embracing position over learning.
  6. #6 aha, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
    There is the speaker and the receiver… what we say and how we say it….

    I think I agree at the end of the day: it will be divine revelation…

    so: “how we say things” is irrelevant for the receiver

    Instead “how we say things” is relevant to the speaker"….that is: to examine ourselves “how we say things”

    Paul’s authoritative manner, how he delivers his message is: that is: with divine authority, but still he prefers gentleness.

    Much more so Jesus criticizing the Pharisees, he is Jesus.

    2 Corinthians 13
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    Coming with Authority
    13 This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”[a] 2 I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write[b] to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare— 3 since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.

    5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.

    Paul Prefers Gentleness
    7 Now I[c] pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete. 10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.

    Greetings and Benediction
    11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

    12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.

    13 All the saints greet you.

    14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
  7. Just my view- I believe that we can enhance each others understanding by sharing our understanding while backing it up with scripture. I Don't feel it is entirely fruitful to debate like it is a competition. Competition can bring animosity IMO.

    Words. Words carry power. It was spoken Words that brought everything into existence. We should be very careful how we wield them, myself included. I am sometimes at fault in this respect. It is one thing I have been working on for years. I've even gone as far as putting my hand over my mouth to stop from speaking what I know could be harmful.

    Which brings me to listening. Another thing I have spent many years working on. Being a patient listener. I am guilty of not sharing with others because they are rude, and interrupt me while I'm speaking. I may know something very pertinent that would help them, but I hold it back. It seems that some people only want to hear their own voices. I would appreciate anyone's input on my remarks.
  8. Shall your clever and prudent appointment, to assign "who" has the burden in the communication process to improve what is asserted be highly relevant.

    To add further with your thinking, can it also be possible that it’s in the process of "self-reproving" that a premise for manufacturing tangible maturity in Christ is possible as the spirit works within each contributor?
  9. To your wise point, shall the universe exist because of the spoken word, and shall it be humanities inclination to throw words about carelessly like a couch pillow, not stopping to anticipate the damage or gain. I will indeed consider your point with higher attention to detail.

    May I offer a suggestion? Is it possible that competition, when void of haughty pride can be highly virtuous, as the word also gives us an encouragement to fight the good fight, to run the race, and to obtain mastery, also to rightly divide the word of truth, and to achieve the mind of Christ, as we garnish each other with encouragement and reprove each other in kindness?

    Yet I believe that I do understand your point, as many times empty competition to simply dominate another will simply reek of fruitless haughtiness.
  10. I agree with the assertion, what I suggest is to make practical use of the assertion.

    That is: if at the end of the day: it will be divine guided realization: then let us practice healthy talking : )

    Proverbs 16:24
    Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

    Self-reproving will welcome more mercy from the Lord for more guidance?
    It is possible because of some bible verse in mind, although am not sure to quote....

    Am just suggesting that we need be reminded that practical use of the assertion mentioned above: because we will be judge on every word we say….

    Matthew 12
    36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
    37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
  11. The 'iron sharpening iron' verse is in Proverbs 27:17 ("Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend’s countenance."). It seems to me the meaning here is not so much about two viewpoints converging together towards agreement, but about how our thought process becomes more honed as the dialog causes us to think things through in more detail.
  12. An excellent assertion

    I cannot agree more, for the rationalization process comes from confines of challenge

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