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The Purpose of the Controversy Room
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politicus incorrectissimus in extremis

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The Purpose of the Controversy Room

Hey everybody. Just thought I’d put up a post to clarify the purpose of the Controversy Room. It has been observed that some individuals may be posting non-controversial subjects here that should be placed in a different forum, for instance, in the General Bible Topics.

Please read this carefully so that you understand why some threads posted here may be moved to other areas of the board.

Some may feel that because of the way others respond to their posts that they will “beat them to the punch” by posting here. PLEASE....that is not what this room is for. This space has been set aside for genuine controversy not for contending with other board members.

Perhaps it would be good to define the difference between controversy and contention because there is sometimes a fine line between the two. At times one can be a synonym of the other. But simply stated: a controversy is a debate whereas contention is competition. I’ll try to define these things using scripture as well as dictionary and thesaurus and give examples of each.


A controversy or dispute is a matter of opinion over which parties actively disagree, argue, or debate. Controversies can range in size from private disputes between two individuals to large-scale disagreements between societies.

Perennial areas of controversy include religion, philosophy and politics. Controversy in matters of theology has traditionally been particularly heated, giving rise to the phrase odium theologicum. Controversial issues are held as potentially divisive in a given society, because they can lead to tension and ill will. Some controversies are considered taboo to many people, unless a society can find a common ground to share and discuss its people's feelings on a certain controversial issue.

Benford's law of controversy, as expressed by science-fiction author Gregory Benford in 1980, states "Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available." In simpler terms for the mathematically challenged among us: “The more ‘real’ information that is brought to bear on a controversy the less heated the argument becomes”.

Main Entry: controversy
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: debate
Synonyms: altercation, argument, beef*, bickering, brush, contention, difference, discussion, disputation, dispute, dissention, embroilment, falling-out*, flak, fuss, hurrah, miff, polemic, quarrel, row, rumpus, scene, scrap, squabble, strife, tiff*, words, wrangle, wrangling
Antonyms: agreement, unanimity
Source: Roget's New Millenniumâ„¢ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
Copyright © 2007 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
* = informal or slang

Some examples of controversy other than the usual religious ones are:

*Animal-Human hybrids
*Creation versus Evolution

In the Bible, a controversy may involve a legal battle, in which case there were principles given in the Law to guide such. For instance:

“You must not take up an untrue report. Do not cooperate with a wicked one by becoming a witness who schemes violence. You must not follow after the crowd for evil ends; and you must not testify over a controversy so as to turn aside with the crowd in order to pervert justice. As for the lowly one, you must not show preference in a controversy of his." -- Exodus 23:1-3

“You are not to pervert the judicial decision of your poor man in his controversy.” -- Exodus 23:6

A controversy in the Bible could also refer to the execution of
by Jehovah or others appointed by him for this task.

“Here I am entering into controversy with you on account of your saying, ‘I have not sinned.’ Why do you treat as very insignificant the changing of your way?” -- Jeremiah 2:35-36

“‘A noise will certainly come clear to the farthest part of the earth, for there is a controversy that Jehovah has with the nations. He must personally put himself in judgment with all flesh. As regards the wicked ones, he must give them to the sword,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.” -- Jeremiah 25:31


Main Entry: contention
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: competition
Synonyms: altercation, argument, battle, beef*, belligerency, combat, conflict, contest, controversy, difference, disaccord, discord, dispute, dissension, dissent, dissidence, disunity, enmity, feuding, fight, flak*, hassle, hostility, quarrel, rhubarb, rivalry, run-in, scene, scrap, set-to*, squabble, static, strife, struggle, variance, war, wrangle
Antonyms: accord, affection, agreement, friendliness, friendship, good will, harmony, kindness
Source: Roget's New Millenniumâ„¢ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
Copyright © 2007 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
* = informal or slang

Contention in the scriptures has a negative connotation and is actively discouraged on this board because it is divisive and and hurtful. If anything is going to get you into trouble here it is a ‘fighting spirit’. Here are a few scriptures dealing with this behaviour.

“An enraged man stirs up contention, but one that is slow to anger quiets down quarreling.” -- Proverbs 15:18

“Hatred is what stirs up contentions, but love covers over even all transgressions.” -- Proverbs 10:12

“A man given to anger stirs up contention, and anyone disposed to rage has many a transgression.” -- Proverbs 29:22

“He that is arrogant in soul stirs up contention, but he that is relying upon Jehovah will be made fat (spiritually - LOL).” -- Proverbs 28:25

So, how does Jehovah feel about contention? Take a look.

“There are six things that Jehovah does hate; yes, seven are things detestable to his soul: lofty eyes, a false tongue, and hands that are shedding innocent blood, a heart fabricating hurtful schemes, feet that are in a hurry to run to badness, a false witness that launches forth lies, and anyone sending forth contentions among brothers.” -- Proverbs 6:16-19

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct, idolatry, practice of spiritism, enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, contentions, divisions, sects, envies, drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these. As to these things I am forewarning YOU, the same way as I did forewarn YOU, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom.” -- Galatians 5:19-21

“Who is wise and understanding among YOU? Let him show out of his fine conduct his works with a mildness that belongs to wisdom. But if YOU have bitter jealousy and contentiousness in YOUR hearts, do not be bragging and lying against the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is [the] earthly, animal, demonic. For where jealousy and contentiousness are, there disorder and every vile thing are.” -- James 3:13-16

In the final analysis, controversy in the Biblical meaning of the word, has the sense of coming to a judgement or a conclusion, whereas contention can go on forever. It is important to understand the difference.

Controversy can produce useful information and proper and respectful argumentation can teach us to listen well before speaking, to keep our passions controlled, and, if done in a Christian manner help us all to gain the ability to see others’ point of view.

On the other hand, contention has no place in a christian discussion. If the facilitators or others notice that a subject is becoming contentious they may wish to weigh in on the discussion in the manner that Paul outlined in Galatians 6:1-5:

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; {each one} looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have {reason for} boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load.” ~ NASB

I hope this will aid all to make effective use of this section of the board to be informative and upbuilding.

Love, Rez:giverose:

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one… – Edmund Burke
12-20-2007 06:59 PM
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