contention

The prevalence of a spirit of contention amongst a people is a certain sign of deadness with respect to the things of religion. When men's spirits are hot with contention, they are cold to religion. - Jonathan Edwards

Friday, September 2, 2022

Handling disagreements charitably

Someone sent me this link and I found it well worth sharing because of the way the speaker explains how to handle disagreements charitably.

People can reach consensus on this approach even when (especially when) they disagree on the underlying issues.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMDSvdKEtDY

It's a presentation by Sean McDowell, a Christian minister who focuses on youth ministry.

Here's an excerpt:

A rhetorical question as we begin how well do you think we as Christians handle disagreements on important but secondary issues to salvation. In other words on issues that matter but are not tied to whether we're saved or not

Do we disagree charitably or uncharitably, agreeably or disagreeably? 

So let's start with some social issues in a moment I'm going to mention the single most controversial social issues i could think of over the past few years 

My point is not what position you should hold on these. My question is amidst differences within the body of Christ, how do we treat one another amidst these differences?

By the way I'm not going to have you turn and share your perspective on these, don't worry. Vaccines, immigration, critical race theory, gun control, voting for Trump voting for Biden... 

The reality is we won't but there are some of you in this room that have a different perspective on every single one of those issues how do we treat each other amidst disagreement.

I'm not saying that all perspectives on these issues are equal that's not my point. I'm simply saying amidst differences on important issues that are not essentially salvific how do we treat one another?

What about theological issues some of the most divisive issues tend to be the role of women in the church in the family, the age of the earth and what we're in the middle of studying right now, the end times? 

Do we disagree agreeably and charitably or disagreeably and uncharitably?

Now why is this question important because you know what Jesus says in john 13 35, he says by this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have what for one another love for one another in other words Jesus says people are going to look at the world and look at your life and look at my life and know whom we follow and who we call king by whether or not we love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.

It's pretty important we talk about disagreeing.

Well isn't it now, you know Satan's strategy of course.

Satan is a liar he's a murderer and he is a divider.

Satan lives lies deceives and divides.

So I take you back about 10 or 12 years to the blockbuster movie at the time called the Avengers...

What's interesting about this film is the villain is Loki the half brother, the brother adopted brother of Thor.

Loki plays a Satan type figure he has rebelled against the gods goes to earth wants to be worshipped by everybody and even possesses people including Hawkeye but do you know what Loki's strategy in that film is?

Loki knows that he can't stand up to the Avengers and defeat them himself, but he knows if he can get the avengers to fight amongst himself he can win.

So his strategy is to turn hulk loose to fight against the rest of the Avengers.

I saw that I'm like I don't know if this is intentional or not but he's a Satan type figure who knows he cannot beat God and the church but if he can distract us by in fighting we have less energy and time to love those who need the gospel of Jesus Christ.


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