In August of 2000, in the midst of the controversy stirred by the publication of the “Open Letter” on the Creation “Days” controversy, I penned an editorial entitled Honor in Controversy. In the article I pointed out the carnal tactics to which some resorted at that time. I sought to point out the need for brethren to behave righteously during times of controversy as we discuss differences which exist. It is a lesson that needs repeating time and again.
It is inappropriate for any child of God to behave in less than a righteous manner. Peter wrote, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11-12). The term “honorable” in the passage (translated honest in the KJV) is defined by Vines, “good, admirable, becoming, has also the ethical meaning of what is fair, right, honourable, of such conduct as deserves esteem” (Vines, Vol. II, pge. 229).
It is important for Christians to be “fair” and “right” in their dealing with others, especially brethren. This is what God expects of us. Further reading in 1 Peter 2 reveals this, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (vss. 15-17).