Lois and I once visited a beautiful mansion in Detroit built by the Fischer family of Fischer body and parts fame. It was occupied by the Hare Krishna s. The singles lived in the mansion and the married couples in cottages across the street. I have seldom seen such cooperation and peace among a working team. The kind of cooperation I have always longed to see among God’s people. BUT the price was too high. As far as I could see they had no individual personalities left. I went back to my bickering cantankerous brothers in Christ and loved how they were each so different in their thoughts, feelings and actions.
Many churches want everyone to think alike, feel alike, act alike, in order to get along. I think God wants us to AGREE TO DISAGREE AND BE AGREEABLE. Most people just don’t want to know other’s thoughts or to share what their thoughts are. Then they can pretend that they are all on the same track.
I remember watching a video from Moody which ended on the plea to take what had been shared and debate it. I proceeded to share a slightly different take on the Bible passage and was firmly told to shut up and agree with the video’s interpretation.
I once disagreed with the director of the children’s club at church. They wanted to compare the students with each other and I wanted to award them for work done and not for relative performance. The director said NO you will do it my way. I agreed to disagree and still work hard to make the program work and to get along with the director. She on the other hand never talked with me again and , if I came into the same room, she would stop talking and walk out.
Even if you are sure you are correct, remember that we do not fight and argue, we remember that the Lord will straighten them out in His own time. Jesus let the rich young ruler walk away. We share the truth , if peradventure, the Lord might grant them open eyes. We pray, Father have mercy on them they don’t fully understand. There is no point in defending THE WORD with delivery that would make Jesus pained. Remember the fruit of the SPIRIT? Love,(the unlovely)take Joy (in the privilege of relating to our enemies)find Peace (with the cantankerous) be Patient (with the harried impatient people around us)be Gentle (with the rough) and Kind (to the unkind)
Go ahead and surround yourself with people who don’t agree with you and ask God to help you remain agreeable for this will go much farther to bring them to consider the truth you share, than and amount of heated or brilliant arguing.Boy, that title even rhymes! The Bible is full of bizarre, do the opposite of your natural inclination and it will work, suggestions, such as:
Choose to walk two miles when forced to walk one!
When struck on one cheek, do not defend or counter-attack. Roll with it and try to find out where the attack is coming from!
When badly used–do good to the user!
The first shall be last and the last shall be first.
Rejoice when persecuted-you are in good company.
etc. etc. etc.
Now it tells me to win arguments by not arguing. 2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of God must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.
When others pick a fight and you recognize a fool trying to mess with you. Do not respond to the topic that they have picked, ie. “Why does a good god allow evil?” or “How can he allow little children to suffer?” Instead, gently confront them on their real issue. “In my life I’ve always found that when I ask questions like that it is because there is SIN in me and I don’t want to deal with it. Or it is because I want to be my own god, in charge of my own choices, guarding my own rights. So I pick a fight with god and then make myself my own god.
I wonder if, like me,there is some sin that you are struggling with or desire to be seen as wise and be in control so you ask these questions?”
Or “those are great questions, maybe we could get together and try to see what God’s word has to say about it.” So the approach is “we are more alike than you think and
My daughter Cheri has a blog – christianscience4kids – and is somewhat bothered by heathen attacking her. More bothersome are the “Christians” that fight for the theory that God created over billions of years through quintillions of miserable deaths. Cheri has to DISAGREE but is kind and willing to relate–but they are not. Also bothersome are the Christians who believe the truth but attack and treat like dirt, those who disagree with them.
I once got up in church to share from God’s word that in the end times there would be people who knew that God had spoken all things into existence but because of their lust, (desire to argue and control) would argue for unchanging forces that work slowly over vast spaces of time. A gentleman came up to me and said rather loudly, “So you are saying that we who believe in God guided evolution are lustful? I replied that I was not saying anything but simply quoting 2 Peter 3:3-15 “Well!” He declared, “This discussion is over” He then marched away. What discussion? He did like to argue and was probably afraid to stop and look at the Word. I would have loved to help him walk away from a knowledge that puffs up approach to a knowledge with Agape approach which brings wisdom. He gave me no opening.
Jesus prayed, “Father don’t take them out of the world just keep them from sin while they are in the world.” Whatever the heathen do, we Christians should agree to disagree and still like and love and relate to others that disagree with us; if they will let us. Romans 12:18
If we must suffer, let us suffer for being right with a good attitude not for being right with a bad attitude