How to view the entire discussion
- You hold no responsibility to win converts to your position.
- There is no “safe” position. You’re either at risk of legalism or license.
- Your personal practices can remain as such. That’s between you and God.
- On any given subject you may actually be the weaker brother.
- Nowhere does the Bible say that the weaker brother is to remain in that state in perpetuity.
- It is just as wrong to permit what God prohibits as it is to prohibit what God permits.
How to know when you’re off track
- If the debate consumes more of your time than your interaction with God in prayer and the Word, you’re doing something wrong.
- If you find yourself getting worked up and angry, you may have taken it too far.
- Have you convinced yourself that the Gospel will rise or fall on someone agreeing with you on this topic?
Is this a hill worth taking, or is this something you are willing to die for?
Is a fellow-believer truly going to be in sin if they do not share your position on this issue?
How to consider the other side
- Be willing to listen closely to what the other side is saying without thinking about how you will respond.
- Be willing to admit that there are good Christians on the other side of the issue.
- Always remember that “esteem others better than ourselves” and “living peaceably with all men” is a two-way street.
- Don’t expect someone to change their mind in the middle of an online debate.
- Look for a possible middle ground.
- Understand the position of the other person.
- Make sure they agree with the way you’ve stated their position.
How to communicate your position
- Before wading into any discussion on gray areas, sit down, read Romans 14, and pray.
- You may hold a better application, but, if you force it on others, you’re actually sinning.
- Avoid speaking where the Bible doesn’t or speaking loudly where the Bible is quiet.
- Don’t say too much too forcefully so that you’ll have less to take back if you change your position.
- Be careful with terms like “wise” or “conservative” when describing your own position; these may lend more weight to your position than warranted.
- Be careful about dealing with these issues in front of non-believers.