Aug 14, 2023

Is It OK to Argue?

1 Min Read

The answer depends on what “argue” means. The Bible is clear that some types of arguing are sin. For example, the Bible instructs Christians to use “sweetness” in their speech (Prov. 16:21) and to not be quarrelsome (2 Tim. 2:23). The Bible also condemns arguing about things that are not worth arguing about, a type of arguing that the Bible sometimes labels “foolish controversies” (1 Tim. 6:4; Titus 3:9). Additionally, the Bible condemns ungodly anger, the type of anger that sometimes leads us to engage in unbiblical arguments (James 1:20).

Are we arguing for God’s glory and God’s truth or for some other reason?

But there is also a biblical way of arguing. Jesus often engaged in arguments to challenge His opponents with the truth of God’s Word. Also, Paul frequently argued with others for the truthfulness of the gospel and for the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 17:1–9, 22–34). Peter encourages his readers to always be ready to defend their faith, and that often requires making arguments (1 Peter 3:15). Pastors are also called to defend orthodox doctrine that may sometimes include godly arguing (Titus 1:9). Argumentation that seeks to challenge falsehood with the truth of God’s Word is called apologetics, and it is biblical and commended as a practice for every Christian.

In the end, answering two questions can help us determine whether it is OK to argue. First, are we arguing with a heart of humility or are we being contentious? Second, are we arguing for God’s glory and God’s truth or for some other reason? To argue in humility for God’s glory according to God’s truth is to argue in a biblical way.

This article is part of the The Reformation Study Bible collection.