Hi Paul. THIS ISN'T JUST FOR YOU! IT'S FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING ME
ME ["we are the world, we are the children, we are the ones that make a brighter day, so let's start giving"...nod to the MJ thread]
I could go into definitions of debate, including logical premises, conclusions, then the technical definitions of argument (part of debate), etc. Let me speak from the "heart" though, rather than just the mind.
Even though it's a bit of a joke, because I'm often not very good at it myself, let me share it as this;
I can tell you what I believe, what I believe God is currently showing me or allowing me to see; understanding and presenting it as I am seeing through a glass darkly, and that I only currently know in part. That is all God is allowing any of us. I can share that with you, do it in love, then accept that you either see it that way as God may shine a light on it for you, or that He isn't as yet revealing it to you; and anyway, He may show me something different about it as well, SO MAYBE IT'S A GOOD THING YOU DIDN'T SWALLOW WHAT I WAS DISHING AT THE TIME, BECAUSE IT WAS YET VEILED!
Or, I can state a case, re-state it, argue it, be adamant that I am right, use your words against you, find multiple ways to try to convince you that you are wrong and I am right...then, perhaps in a worse case scenario, begin to belittle you, mock you, make slurring comments about you, who you've been listening to, become angry, say things I shouldn't say, wound you, harm others who are observing, and generally make a rear end out of myself and cast negative aspersions on the ways of the Lord. All in the name of trying to present what I believe is sound doctrine, righteous teaching (when it's often about my "being right", saving face, but in the end, being judgmental, self-righteous, and a bad witness). Been there, done that, sign the dotted line if you want to be in the club.
There's only general guidelines, mainly "don't argue" and "have a Christ-like attitude and spirit".
So, bottom line, the encouragement is to share, discuss, and stay away from arguing/debate, however one may define it. State how we see it at the moment, wish each other well, and let God do the job He has promised He will do...("you have no need that any man teach you...after the Spirit comes He will lead you into all truth").
God's blessing, James.
[Splitting this off into its own thread] You are Satan (not YOU specifically Paul
] can then carry on as its own topic.