Years ago, my former pastor’s wife was holding a weekly Bible study in her home and it was especially geared to those who might not enter a church. It had been going well for several weeks and some seekers were attending and asking questions.
One night two young men who were already believers showed up. As the study proceeded they countered and debated every point that was presented. When the answers and explanations were not to their liking they argued and bullied and grew loud and quarrelsome. To them the issue at hand was black and white; they were right and the pastor’s wife was wrong.
She was at a loss to manage them and the other attenders were confused. They must have secretly wondered: so is this how Christians act – self righteous and bigoted? They were probably perfect examples of why Paul wrote to the Romans: “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.” (Romans16:17)
Haven’t we all known such people? Itching for a fight! They want to spar with everyone. They never listen because they are too busy during any break planning their next verbal assault. They aren’t satisfied unless they sense you waving a white flag.
The proper strategy is to do what Paul said: turn away from them. Don’t get sucked into an argument with these contentious souls. Shut down, go silent, don’t respond. When you enter into their ways you are one of them.
Watch yourself! If you let that happen people will wisely be turning away from you.