Objection 1: It seems that it is not good, because quarreling is wrong. The second chapter of 2nd Timothy says “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome”.
Objection 2: Division in the Body is a sign of Satan’s interference in the church, and we should fight that interference.
Objection 3: We must guard our weaker brothers. Paul the Apostle, in the eighth chapter of 1st Corinthians says “So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.”
Objection 4: Jesus said the world would know us by our love for one another. This love is manifested in our unity. We must avoid arguments to persevere this unity as a witness to the world.
On the contrary, Greg Koukl of the Stand to Reason ministry says “some people may view disputation as wrong in itself because they view it as quarrelsome. We ought not be quarrelsome, as Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy chapter 2. But having disputations, differences of opinion in which you argue for a point of view, and being quarrelsome are two different things. In fact, it’s absolutely imperative that Christians argue. Some of the fight phobia that Christians have had in the past actually has done more harm than good. It is good and healthy for Christians to dispute about important issues, meaning they give their opinions about what is true, and they support their opinions with evidence and reasoning and Scripture. Then they allow those opinions to be looked at very closely by someone else, and then he gives his reasons and ideas and Scripture. It’s only in and through that process of disputation, sharing ideas, and trying and testing our ideas in fire that we will be able to determine what truth is. A group of people who refuse to dispute about anything will have a very poor chance of coming to truth.”
I answer that good-natured argument is healthy. We ought to argue charitably with one another, and on things that are not of primary importance, we sometimes will need disagree without a resolution. We should be cautious in labelling disagreement itself as something bad or something to be avoided. When assessing the beliefs of those we disagree with, we ought to be charitable and grant them pure motives until we have reason to do otherwise. It is possible to disagree on an action but still have the same motivation as someone else.
Reply to Objection 1: To argue is not to divide. We must argue in charity, but we must argue. It is possible, and good, to argue without being argumentative.
Reply to Objection 2: Satan does indeed divide, but Satan is not the cause of all arguments. There is such a thing as a good argument. The mere fact that the church votes in elections and on policies is testifies to our assumption that disagreement is not always from Satan. If it were, a truly godly church would never vote; we’d already agree.
Reply to Objection 3: This is not the proper meaning of the passage. Paul is not here saying that someone with a “weak conscience” is anyone who requires the most safety or precaution. He is speaking of new Christians who are tempted to see actions they once associated with their former religion in spiritual terms. In those cases, mature Christians should try to avoid causing them to sin.
Reply to Objection 4: The world should certainly know us by our love for one another, and I think one of the greatest examples of that love is being able to disagree charitably. Unity doesn’t mean the absence of disagreement, but that we stick together in spite of it.