When two Christians don’t agree.

15 Nov

Is there anything more frustrating in all the world than when two Christians disagree with each other or don’t get along?

It seems like an oxy-moron doesn’t it?  Christians should love each other and get along and always see eye to eye if they’re serving the same God and being led by the same Holy Spirit.

So why don’t they?

I think it is because of one reason… broke down into two categories.

The reason is this… James 4: 1 -2 a

4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it.

Category # 1 : I want you to do it my way, because I’m  smarter, more experienced, and more mature than you are – and if you don’t, I’m going to be upset and feel like you’re doing it wrong.

Category # 2 : I believe you’re not following what scripture says – and I’m going to take a stand against it even if it causes waves between us.

 

We ALL slip up in Category # 1.  We have opinions and we like them to be valued and submitted to.  In minor ways like how to put the roll of toilet paper on the holder, how to stack the dishes in the strainer, and how to fold the towels.

But we also have opinions in some more substantial areas that feel a lot more significant in terms of spiritual matters that aren’t actually sins but can teeter the line closely.  Like how much scripture we should be reading a day, how many drinks of alcohol classify as not crossing the line into drunkenness, how often should we take communion, should we tithe off gross or net, and a check list of things we should be doing if we are truly a Christian.

Those can tend to really play heavy on us if we have a personal conviction toward a certain answer, however, we must be careful not to hold someone accountable to something that isn’t actually written in scripture.

Category # 2 is a LOT deeper! Just because two people are Christians, does not mean they are at the same level of maturity nor does it mean that they have the same wisdom and understanding in all areas of Scripture.

It sure seems like we should, and it’d make it a heck of a lot easier if we were all on the same level playing field… but we just aren’t.

It’s important when you really feel like someone is being disobedient to scripture that you’re honest.  Explain your reasons in love and truth.  And then be patient with their response.

If they fall into category # 1 – chances are, they aren’t hearing much truth because they’re too caught up making sure they are getting their own way.

If they are just uneducated, there is a good chance your honesty, concern, love and truth will open their eyes to see the wisdom you’re sharing and change their opinion or stance to line up with yours (and God’s).

I know the greatest temptations with this issue are to become judgemental, as in deciding if we think someone is really saved at all. And also to blow the disagreement up to a level that changes other truths.  One small disagreement in a specific instance shouldn’t allow other areas of the person’s life to come under attack or question.  Keep the disagreement focused on strictly the disagreement.

Practical Application:

HAVE PATIENCE!! I’m learning and growing EVERY DAY so I have no place to stand on intolerance for immaturity.

Search my heart to make sure when I’m in a disagreement with another Christian that I’m not actually just upset because I think my way is better.

Speak the truth in love and with full honesty so hopefully my fellow brothers and sisters will hear the message I’m giving and not judgement in the midst of a disagreement.

Accept that a disagreement does not need to be blown out of proportion.  Keep the issues under foot and in perspective!

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6 Responses to “When two Christians don’t agree.”

  1. ronfurg November 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Thanks so much for addressing this topic. It is very useful. I just had a spat with a dear aunt who has a different view on abortion than I do. She says she is personally against it for herself (not a real problem for her as she is rapidly approaching the age when Sara, Abraham’s wife, became pregnant 😉 ) However she says she does not wish to or feel she has the right to impose her own views on anyone else and therefore has no problem voting for candidates who support abortion for any reason whatsoever, even late-term, partial-birth abortion. We go toe to toe on the issue and each of us tries to be respectful of the other — although I have a great deal of difficulty doing so. My aunt says that she often feels that others don’t believe she is a Christian because of her views but she maintains that she is. I believe this type of issue is common, unfortunately, and rifts will probably always exist between folks of faith in areas such as the inerrency of Scripture, homosexuality, the role of women in the church, etc., etc. It is just the way things are and there gets to be a thin line, very thin for me, in distinguishing between being judgmental and discerning. I hope I’m discerning but feel a nudge from Holy Spirit far too often warning me to take my thoughts captive. I’m reminded of the “sharp” disagreement Paul and Barnabus had over John Mark. If these men of God couldn’t reach an accommodation in a critical area like how best to promote the Gospel message I guess we need not be surprised at our disagreements. Again, thanks for your blog in general and especially for your wisdom in addressing this topic.

    • Kayla Gulick November 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

      THANK YOU for addressing some major issues that REALLY cause us to stumble into arguments and disagreements.

      I too can admit that more often than not, I’m having to really take my thoughts captive because I get so passionate about issues and tend to take it personal and feel very offended as a Christian that what seems black and white to me, is a mess of grey to someone else.

      We must remember that love covers a multitude of sin… so we keep leading our hearts to love.

      • ronfurg November 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

        Right. Love, the ultimate response. Again, thanks for addressing this troubling issue.

  2. peacefulwife November 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Kayla,
    Our Sunday School teacher talks a lot about principles vs. preferences.

    Preferences don’t really matter – the color of the carpet, how often to have communion. There is no scriptural mandate for preferences. He talks about how we need to be willing to humble ourselves and allow others to have their preferences over our own. We need to submit to other believers and cooperate instead of being contentious over things that don’t actually have eternal significance.

    Principles are a different thing! We don’t compromise principles of scripture – these are the precious truths of God.

    My heart’s cry is for unity in our marriages and the church. There is only one church, one bride of Christ. We have so many manmade divisions. That does not honor our Lord. He prayed for us to be one as He and the Father are one. I pray for the church to set aside our differences of preferences completely. And I pray for us to have the mind of Christ and His Spirit so that we might have unity about His principles. Without His Spirit, we fall prey to differing interpretations and we may truly each believe we are following Scripture – but come to different conclusions. But I believe that God can empower us to be united by His Spirit when we abide in Him and live to serve Him truly as Lord.

    Great topic!
    Thanks, Kayla!

    • Kayla Gulick November 15, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      Oooo… I love that! Principles verses preferences! Great way to explain it! Thanks for adding that April!!

      • peacefulwife November 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

        You’re very welcome! 🙂 Thanks for addressing this important issue!

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