On Dealing with Controversy
by Richard Baxter
Begin not too early with controversies in religion; and when you come to them, let them have but their due proportion of your time and zeal; but live daily upon [the] certain great substantials, which all Christians are agreed in.
1. Plunge not yourselves too soon into controversies: For
(1.) It will be exceedingly to your loss, by diverting your souls from greater and more necessary things: you may get more increase of holiness, and spend your time more pleasingly to God, by drinking in deeper the substantials of religion, and improving them on your hearts and lives.
(2.) It will corrupt your minds, and instead of humility, charity, holiness, and heavenly-mindedness, it will feed your pride, and kindle faction and a dividing zeal, and quench your charity, and possess you with a wrangling, contentious spirit, and you will make a religion of these sins and lamentable distempers.
(3.) And it is the way to deceive and corrupt your judgments, and make you erroneous or heretical, to your own perdition and the disturbance of the church; for it is two to one, but either you presently err, or else get such an itch after notions and opinions that will lead you to error at the last. Because you are not yet ripe and able to judge of those things, till your minds are prepared by those truths that are first in order to be received. When you undertake a work that you cannot do, no wonder if it be ill done, and must be all undone again, or worse.
Click here to read the rest of Baxter’s counsel on dealing with controversy.
Taken with gratitude from Scripture Studies.com
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