LET US REASON WITH ONE ANOTHER!

divided

Some differences will always remain in the church. Indeed, it will not go away. It is something that every Christian will have to live with. Consequently, we should deal with it in a matter that is consistently Christian.

WE SHOULD NOT USE UNCHARITABLE LABELS TO THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH US

No matter what our particular position may be with respect to an issue, we should not resort to placing uncharitable labels upon people who disagree with us. It does no good to try and categorize those who hold different views than us as immature or to be less worthy Christians. This does not do anybody any good.

Unfortunately, there are in fact some unloving assessments from people who are being emotionally unstable, or unwittingly spreading a satanic counterfeit. These are those that are not filled with the Spirit and are consciously attempting to stop God’s work in this age. This type of behavior is unchristian, unbiblical, and counterproductive.

There are immature, arrogant, and divisive people on all sides of an issue. In addition, there are also godly, spiritually mature, and biblical literate people, on all sides of the same issue. We should seek for Christian unity in our diversity of views, while simultaneously standing on truth. Paul wrote about the correct attitude all believers should hold: Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace (Ephesians 4:3 NLT).

WE NEED TO MAKE USE OF ALL SCRIPTURE

We must be careful how we develop our own understanding with respect to an issue. It is possible to find one verse, and then use it as a basis for an entire system of belief. We often make this mistake.

One must seek to find out what the totality of Scripture has to say on a subject, not merely one verse that will be the basis to support our interpretation.

BAD ARGUMENTS FROM THE OTHER SIDE DOES NOT PROVE YOUR CASE

In addition, the fact that some may have used bad arguments to prove their case does not necessarily mean what they believe is wrong and we are right. All it means is that someone offered an unconvincing argument! This is important to understand. We often find in the writings of both parties the idea that they have proved their case, because they have pointed out illogical arguments from those who have a different position. Pointing out bad arguments from those who disagree with us, only means that the other person has bad arguments. It does not settle the matter.

Any examination of two different perspectives should be based on the very best arguments each side has to offer, not on the poorest arguments that were offered (in our opinion).

LETS REALIZE THAT THE EXPERIENCE OF EACH BELIEVER IS UNIQUE

The experience of each believer is unique. Therefore, no one should attempt to make everyone conform to their own particular experience ór relationship with the Lord.

Many times, even with good motives, we attempt to encourage all believers to be like us and to have the same experiences as we do. In doing so, we can make other believers feel uneasy because they have not had the same experience.

Some Christians have convictions based upon their understanding of Scripture. It is wrong for one group to feel superior to the other. The Apostle Paul warned believers about comparing ourselves with one another (2 Corinthians 10:12).

The only thing that believers really ought to make foundational to the Christian faith is the Person of Jesus Christ.

WE SHOULD NOT THINK THAT WE HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS

It is possible that our belief system is too comfortable—we think that we have all the answers. We think we know God well enough to the point that we fully know how He operates. This is a very dangerous position to hold. We need to give God the ability to work any way in which He wishes, we cannot limit Him to the way that we think He will work.

Jesus, in comparing the work of the Holy Spirit with the wind, said the wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit (John 3:8).

The Holy Spirit works in the ways in which He desires. He certainly does not always operate according to our understanding.

WE CAN LEARN FROM THOSE WHO HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEWPOINT

All of us can learn from those believers who hold differing viewpoints than us. Consequently, we should not shut ourselves up to only those who agree with us all the time. If anyone disassociates themselves from other Bible-believing Christians on the basis of their view on one or two subjects, it does not show their orthodoxy, it only shows their immaturity. Often, these issues are not ones that should divide believers, or keep them from associating with one another.

Indeed, they may be right, and we may be the ones who are wrong! There are always things that we can learn and during debates we can learn from each other.

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