Doctrine feuds within the church do more to repel those who are seeking God than attract them to the church. Look at the picture above. How many faces within the tree branches do you see? I’m sure you see the two on either side of the trunk of the tree but what others do you see? Some people only see 3-4. Others have seen as many as 11. Regardless of how many faces within the tree you see, can we agree on the fact that we both are looking at a drawing of a tree?
This picture puzzle reminds me of how we see God’s Word. God communicates the truth of His word to us in different ways and at different times. Spiritually speaking, some of us are in pre-school. Others of us are in graduate school and in every grade level in between.
Just because you’ve read the bible through 10 times and you haven’t seen a truth that a brother or sister is trying to share with you doesn’t necessarily mean that what he or she has to share is invalid. It may simply mean that God has not revealed that particular truth to you yet.
Instead of focusing on what we don’t agree on, let’s spend some time focusing on the common denominator. What do we have in common that we can agree on?
On the Periodic Table of Elements, Os stands for Osmium. This is true whether I’m explaining it to a grad student or a kindergartener. However, the kindergartener, at this stage in his development probably won’t be able to grasp this truth. In a few years, this same kindergartener will not have a problem grasping Osmium and Periodic Table of Elements.
Based upon the many variables involved in how God deals with us on our own personal level, we should make every effort to refrain from arguing over doctrine and scriptural differences with one another. These types of disagreements should definitely be curtailed in front of those who aren’t Christians.
The world is looking for any reason they can find to discredit the church. When we make our differences in doctrine public, we give them the fuel they need to discredit us and to discredit our God. When we argue and disagree with one another over doctrine, we show the world an image of a confused and divided church. We show them a church that is at war with itself.
God is not the author of confusion. A house divided against itself cannot stand. The greatest statement we can make before the world is to love one another in spite of our different doctrine and scriptural viewpoints.
Instead of arguing over doctrine, scripture or biblical principles, why not take a moment to pray that God would allow all parties involved to see the principle that’s being shared. If the person is in error, pray that God would also reveal this and correct the person or the way the principle is being presented.
Putting Aside Differences in Doctrine
Let’s agree to put away foolish and selfish arguments within the church and create an inviting environment for those who may be seeking God. Let’s create a desire in them that would make them want to join our family rather than causing them to turn away shaking their heads because of infighting and strife within the church.
Instead of focusing on what we don’t agree on, let’s spend some time focusing on the common denominator. What do we have in common that we can agree on? How about Jesus Christ as Lord! We could spend a lifetime rejoicing in that fact alone.
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