It is sometimes said by the moderators of debates that both debaters may be wrong, but they cannot both be right. Often, one is wrong and the other is right. However, one who is insincere in his stance is certain to be wrong. This is not to say that his arguments are necessarily flawed, but that his character is flawed.

I am not saying that truth is subject to the convictions of men; truth is absolute. "Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). "And they asked him, saying: Master, we know that thou speakest and teachest rightly: and thou dost not respect any person, but teachest the way of God in truth" (Luke 20:21). "For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). There is a right answer to any question of debate, and that answer cannot change because it is truth. Truth is equivalent with fact, both are real and certain.

However, men follow ways that they are uncertain of for various reasons. Tradition is the reason for most people's religious profession. Popularity is one reason that institutional churches fared better numerically in the splits of days past. Fame is one reason why some preachers say the things they do. Let's not forget, "For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition" (1 Timothy 6:9).

Paul wrote a simple statement, "For all that is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). He spoke to the Philippians of those that "out of contention preach Christ not sincerely". The preachers were saving others, but they were damned. Paul also wrote, "But we renounce the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor adulterating the word of God; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience, in the sight of God" (2 Corinthians 4:2). Honesty, sincerity, and faith must be the reasons for a Christian's stand. "For we are not as many, adulterating the word of God; but with sincerity, but as from God, before God, in Christ we speak" (2 Corinthians 2:17).

Remember, other men may be deceived but God also observes, even to the deepest recesses of the mind. Everyone needs to stand for their convictions. A stand against the conscience is a stand in the wrong, no matter which side the stand is on

By Shannon Ramey

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