Okay…so the two things have very little in common. Except for one thing. They are huge topics of debate in Christian circles. Are we elected or does man choose God? Should you public school, homeschool, or Christian school your kids? Of course, there are many other topics and many other sides to arguments…too many to recount here.
While I believe healthy debate is a good thing and is instrumental in helping us to grow and think, we need to be careful lest we make our side of an argument the all important thing, while not caring that we make the other person feel like an idiot.
Now, of course, we have biblical principles upon which to stand. The election of the saints is clear in the Bible (Ephesians 1). It cannot be denied. But if you search there are also some Bible verses that would imply that man has a choice (Proverbs 1:24). I am unapologetically a Calvinist. But the point of this is: Why do we think we have to understand how it works? Only God knows. Why do we– in our finite human minds– think we have to get this? Perhaps we should just submit ourselves to the fact that we can’t understand how the two work together?
And schooling…why do we have to preach that one is better than the other? Yes, I have a pretty strong opinion on what I think is best for my family. But maybe…due to circumstances unknown to you and me…a different option is better for another family. Maybe for them, the opposite of what you are doing is the best choice for them. Why does this choice have to be such a source of division among believers?
Why do we argue and debate on the things that we can’t understand (i.e. election)? Or the things that do not have a biblical principle to support them (i.e. education)?
I know I am putting myself out on a limb because so many people have such strong feelings about these two topics. And, again, I am not saying that there is no place for argument and debate…because there IS. But not at the cost of broken relationships and hurt feelings. Is it more important that we prove we are right than that we edify one another in the body of Christ? Perhaps a statement given with dignity and love would actually cause a person to think much more about the other side than a heated statement that implies the other person is unintelligent for even holding their viewpoint.
And, lest I be misunderstood (if you know me, you already know this)…I do believe it is of utmost importance to develop biblical opinions about things…and to encourage believers to adhere to biblical principles. But when it comes to the stuff we can’t quite understand or state with unequivocal certainty…well, perhaps we need to state our opinion with love and then walk away.