squabble_sheepFrom observation and experience I realize the more secure I am about something, the less threatened I am when someone disagrees with me. The more confident I am about something, the less I need to correct (Or put down) others who take a different opinion. By contrast, those who are insecure in their position or belief, the more defensive… insecure… and self consumed they are.

For instance, if an atheist is so sure God doesn’t exist… why get so hot and bothered about religion and faith. If they say they don’t want others to be infected by religious beliefs they are actually engaging in their own brand of evangelism and therefore their argument is muted. But the place I’ve seen it the most and in its most ugly form is church. Sheep fighting and attacking sheep…

Of all people Christians should be characterized by love, mercy, grace, patience, and forgiveness toward each other. One prefers hymns, another prefers contemporary worship… and they disparage each other. One likes the choir to wear robes, another prefers a worship team… and they bicker over it. One adheres to Arminian Doctrine while another is Reformed… and a real battle ensues over that one.

Paul addressed how Christians… in the context of church… should relate to those who disagree with them. Consider Romans 14:1-5…

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Romans 15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

Imagine the tumult if a group of Christians decided they wanted to worship on Saturday (The Sabbath) rather than on Sunday (The first day of the week). If the preacher sided with the Saturday group, he’d be run off. Otherwise he’d have to be at both worship services. Then he’d still get an ear full from the Sunday group about the Saturday group IN SPITE OF what is written in Scripture.

Conclusion: Be fully convinced in your own mind. Seek to build others up in Christ. Be loving, forgiving, patient, merciful, and gracious to all people… especially Christians!