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Monday, March 16, 2009

I Agree

...don't you think I agree? I agree!

Today I read a post about how we cannot agree to disagree because of 1 Corinthians 1:10. And I thought that was fascinating, especially since there is rather a lot of division within the "Body of Christ" as it is... Sonlight in the middle of it all from time to time.

But how can I say, "I disagree that we must all agree"? <smile>

To say that we must all agree, I would imply that everyone must agree... with me; that I have, somehow, arrived at the singular, all-inclusive Truth. But I don't like that because

  1. It shuts down all discussion, argument, or further study. Any research or contemplation that does not match my conclusion is antagonistic against me and, at best, merely ungodly.
  2. It makes it impossible to graciously concede a point. If I'm right and someone demonstrates that I am wrong, then they are inexplicably wrong and I must stick my head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge their point.
  3. It elevates me--or, at minimum, my beliefs--to the highest position of "unquestionable truth" ... which can quickly lead to tyranny and reeks of pride (of which I have all too much personal experience <smile>).

Thus, I see nothing wrong with passionately arguing your position.

I think it is healthy to question and allow others to question you.

I think it is good to look at the other side of things.

And while, yes, it is not good to have division, I think the call is to not be divided over matters of disagreement. As the passage goes on to say: Following Christ is what is important, not whose teachings you gravitate toward. Those should not divide us.

So, I think that we can be united and of the same mind, even if we disagree on the age of the earth, the best way to interact with others, the best color for carpeting, or whether drums or skirts above the knee are acceptable.

One of my friends who grew up a Muslim once told me that it was hard for him at first to be in church where everyone prayed to God while standing up. 'How disrespectful,' he thought. 'We must pray in humility, with our faces to the ground.'

Talking with him demonstrated just how much we can learn from one another--those with whom we disagree--and is a great picture of what my wife has said: I think the true Church is a conglomeration of all the different denominations that each reflect a different aspect of God.

This is not to say there isn't absolute truth. There is. But, for now, I think it is important that we all grow in humility and remain free to disagree so we can all, hopefully, get ever closer to that Truth.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

P.S. The following article fascinated me. I didn't include it with the Other Posts of Note because there is strong language (including an f-bomb). If you can handle that, I think it is well worth reading and thinking about. Read it here.

9 comments:

Jill in Kentucky said...

I agree with your wife's perspective in that I think that different churches/denominations may all act like different members of one body, just like individual members in a fellowship do. Each member of the body has its own function.

Luke said...

Well said, Jill. Well said <smile>. Thanks for taking the time to agree with me <smile>.

~Luke

Heather the Mama Duk said...

I agree with you lol And I know we definitely disagree ;-P

Mrs. C said...

I've never really had a problem with most people saying things like, "I think (this) because (reason, Bible passage, etc.)."

It really doesn't even matter if the person we're talking to is a Christian or not, though of course we can at least agree on the Bible if we start there. It doesn't even matter if we're right or not, if all we're doing is hurting someone or bashing them with our superior knowledge and opinions. :]

Yeah, there's a time to stand up for Truth and a time to just quit nitpicking at your brother. I agree, too! Me, too.

~ Angi :) said...

I read the 1 Corinthians passage to be dealing with sectarianism ~ not a hearty discourse between folks to put forth different vantage points.

If we were to all have identical thoughts and perspectives, we would have been fashioned robots, without wills.

We can each have a different opinion on matters, yet maintain the unity of the Spirit through faith by choosing NOT to divide over matters of belonging. ("I belong to Paul; Apollos;" etc) We are to be one in Christ - choosing His heart and mind in matters of love, and edification, and serving one another.

My two cents on the subject of 'agreement' :D

Sally Apokedak said...

Well, I agree that following Christ is what's important.

I know a guy who believes that Christians are sinless. Once you are a Christian you sin no more. I don't know how he lives with himself and believes it.

But most of us believe that Christians still sin. And if we sin then it follows that we won't always be right about everything. How can we all have perfect theology?

Luke said...

Heather, I'm glad we agree, even though we disagree <smile>.

Mrs. C, you're absolutely right: Even if we're right, if we're not loving others and being prideful, it's kinda pointless.

"We are to be one in Christ - choosing His heart and mind in matters of love, and edification, and serving one another." May that always be true of us, Angi!

Sally, I know of a guy who claims that too... drives me crazy. He claims to never sin. I've written about that before, but I'm not going to link to it since this is a Sonlight blog and not Luke rant time <smile>. But, yes: "if we sin then it follows that we won't always be right about everything." True.

May we all continue to love one another, even in spirited disagreement <smile>.

~Luke

Julie said...

As a seminary student, online, who is required to participate in discussion boards...therefore argue logically...we can too disagree...about CERTAIN things!!! Those things that do not affect salvation...like, if you argue that Mary was not an actual virgin...you're affecting biblical salvation..can't argue that. If you are arguing the exercise of "tongues" or other specific sign gifts of the spirit...you can TOTALLY argue all you want! And, your right...it smacks greatly of pride to say you can't argue...that elevates SOMEONE to the position of absolute truth which is a position that only belongs to God! Love ya'll!
J

Luke said...

Totally works for me, Julie. The interesting part--and perhaps yet another think to discuss--would be: How do we know what is something we can't disagree on? And how do we talk about it then? <smile>

~Luke


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