This phrase describes so much of American evangelicalism. In the name of protecting orthodoxy, we execute allies.
One of the reasons Paul wanted us to avoid an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels is that this unhealthy interest keeps us from showing loving interest in the flesh-and-blood human beings we're called to love.
Every controversy feels urgent to someone, like everything's hanging on the line. And it's hard to know what constitutes an unhealthy interest. There aren't easy-to-discern, bright lines.
But you can see the impact of an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels over time. Conceited. Envious. Malicious. Suspicious. Always fighting. Paul spells all this out in 1 Timothy 6.
And this way of living stands in stark contrast to the way of living spelled out by Paul in 1 Timothy 2: a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and holiness.
As another theological boxing match begins and two celebrity pastors trade public punches, I can't help but wonder what happened to our longing to live in harmony. Would we be happy without the fighting? How would we, then, be entertained, were the quarrels to cease?
What do you think about these public fights over doctrine?