Friday Night Smack Down …in the Pews?

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” –John Kenneth Galbraith

When Christians disagree… not if, but when, because we already do.

Dip me in a pool? Mist me three times? Is it His body; is it not? What’s that funny language you’re speaking to me in? Can my wife preach a sermon? Can I mow my grass on Sunday? Am I looking for an anti-christ, or has he already been here? Did God do all of the work… or must I make a choice? What’s that antiquated robe your preacher wears? Old hymns? Contemporary praise? Red carpet, green carpet, shag carpet, blue, there’s much, much more, shall I continue….

When Jesus petitioned this prayer, “…that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that  they also may be in  us, so that the world  may believe that you have sent me (John 17:21),” did He envision the segregated Christian community that bears witness of His gospel in the world today?

Many of us find ourselves in one of two categories when handling all of the disagreements among professing believers: those who insist on a hardline approach where every belief is a gospel defining issue, and those who ignore our disagreements in the name of unity. I believe an argument can be made that neither position is biblical.

Instead, the Bible seems to categorize disagreements. There are times when it intervenes with the words, “it doesn’t matter,” such as Paul’s treatment of food regulations and holidays in his 14th chapter of Romans. Other times, acknowledging that many things do matter, we hear the words, “Brother, Sister… you’re wrong (1 Corinthians).” In these cases it’s worth noting that it is very possible to be wrong and still be a brother. Then we come to a letter such as the one to the Galatians where Paul concludes, “That’s another gospel.”

Wisdom is of course found in our discernment of knowing which disagreements belong in which category. In such wisdom… who knows, we may find unity.

By the way, some excellent conversations on this topic have been going on here at nebraskaenergyobserver and here at All Along the Watchtower. These series purpose to question the negative repercussions of our continued division.

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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17 Responses to Friday Night Smack Down …in the Pews?

  1. raysrope says:

    Reblogged this on rope.

  2. Wayne Augden says:

    Unity has to be found in obedience to the “Word of God.” In order to do that we must know the “Word of God” and look to it as our sole resource of wisdom and discernment. It’s my belief that the root of most disagreements lies in the lack of understanding or ignorance of God’s Word, or an unwillingness to live by it in totality. Too many pick and choose what they’re willing to live with and by when it comes to God’s Word, and in doing so they make it their “word” and not God’s. Here’s a quote I like: “If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” Augustine of Hippo When we do this and teach this there can be no unity… Unity has to come from an understanding and willingness to live in accordance with God’s truth. Just a thought…

  3. I have worked with people from many different denominations over the years. We agree on all the basics – authority and inerrancy of the Word / total efficacy of the blood of Christ / total inability of mankind to save themselves / salvation therefore by grace, through faith and only through Jesus Christ.

    There could be differences of opinion on a number of matters that don’t “matter” and sometimes we will respectfully discuss them, but they do not stop us from praying together, studying together and ministering together. Having said that, there have been times when a stand had to be made.

  4. lambskinny says:

    Need any help with your FB page? I liked it! and suggested my own…

    • mtsweat says:

      Yes… let me repeat that, YES. I haven’t a clue what to do with our FB page. I am totally lost on that thing, Carley. I’m hoping someone can help us figure out how to make it usable and how to maneuver around it and well, anything about it! Thanks good friend and blessings.

      • lambskinny says:

        Okay – I’ll send you an email later today or tomorrow. And, the proof of ANNIE DREAMING was just ordered this morning. I am hoping to have it in hand by Friday and approve it on Saturday! That’s my hope anyway. However… one never knows. 😀

  5. lambskinny says:

    Like there are any positive repercussions for our continued divisions… ;(
    Thanks so much, Michael.

    • mtsweat says:

      Thank you Carley and blessings as we await your soon to be here new novel! I think you’re very right. Struggling to find any positives in division here.

  6. alwayzhis says:

    Very good! Listen up all you “Christians”… the true example of a real Christian is not found in words from men… but ONLY from our Heavenly Father’s Holy Word! If it’s not in the Word… then you better ask the Father through our Lord Jesus what’s up! Hoping this makes sense!
    Thanks for a great post!
    Stephanie

    • mtsweat says:

      Makes sense and comes in clearly friend. Thanks for the timely reminder, all truth is God’s truth… if we will know truth, it will be because He shared it with us. Blessings

  7. JessicaHof says:

    Thank you for your excellent comments – we are still working this one through, and anyone who wants to help out is most welcome – so far no one has brought a stake and faggots:)

  8. Thank you for the link, a lot of very hard thought by a lot of people went into this series of articles.

    • mtsweat says:

      We are very grateful for all of the hard thoughts… continuing to try and digest all of the knowledge imparted by both of your efforts. One of your conclusions I believe is very valid. Divided we are sure to falter. The strength of a body is in its unity. Thanks and blessings good friend.

      • We are glad to share, if fact that is why we did summarize it, and in fact are still interested in any comments anybody else has. You have taken our major conclusions already, we need to present a united front.

        Thanks and blessings to you,

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