Doctrine, Liberty, and Attitude

Paul doesn’t take sides in the dispute between Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2-3). This says a lot about the arguement. To start with the feud was not over doctrine. We know this because Paul had no reservations taking a side when it was theological. He went after those who were teaching another gospel, or distorting the truth in any way. If one of those women was a heretic, Paul would have called her out. Secondly, the feud was not over Christian liberty. Had these women been arguing over serving meat sacrificed to idols at the church potluck, Paul would have said something about it (1 Corinthians 8). In fact he never tells us to have the same preferences, or identical views on Christian liberty. That’s why they are called liberties. We only have to keep from intentionally offending our brother. So what is going here? It appears the women really had attitude problems. This explains the rebuke. Left unchecked the problem spreads. Apparently everyone knew about it, even Paul in Rome. People in the church were taking sides. The argument was literally over nothing of substance, but had the power to take down everything. Most churches split because of attitude problems, not doctrine.

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