Agree to Disagree

One tactic Satan uses to divide believers is doctrinal differences. I saw an example of that at a recent house meeting I attended. After a time of singing worship songs and individuals stepping out to give prophetic words, a traveling preacher began talking about how people often walk out of his meetings. A short time later, this minister gave reasons why he believes Jesus will come back in 2018 (but didn’t mention a specific day). I also overheard his wife say we are already in the tribulation period. As a “pre-trib” believer myself, red flags went up in my mind. It wouldn’t have bothered me much if the preacher simply stated he believes in a post-tribulation rapture and then talked about something else. Instead he continued pushing that doctrine.

Other people in attendance countered things this preacher said by quoting Scripture. I mostly kept quiet but corrected him on one erroneous statement. The preacher claimed Billy Graham’s ministry produced the 1972 film “A Thief in the Night.” Since I'm a former employee of World Wide Pictures, I pointed out that end times movie was produced by Mark IV Pictures. The preacher wasn’t apologetic about his mistake and resumed defending his post-tribulation beliefs. Soon I became grieved in my spirit and decided to leave. Just before I walked out the door, the owner of the house approached me and admitted he also perceived a spirit of confusion operating in that meeting.

Foundational doctrines are not open for debate such as Jesus being the only way to heaven (John 14:6). But with others that have no bearing on a person’s eternal destiny, sometimes it’s best for a preacher to keep his mouth shut about a topic if he knows it will stir up strife among the people he is ministering to. 2 Timothy 2:24 says, “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.”

The morning after that house meeting, I kept thinking of an old hit by Dave Mason called “We Just Disagree.” Although it’s not a Christian song, the chorus offers some good advice…

So let's leave it alone 'cause we can't see eye to eye
There ain't no good guy, there ain't no bad guy
There's only you and me and we just disagree

Until the Lord returns, the Body of Christ will continue having differences on how certain Scriptures are to be interpreted. But instead of having a contentious attitude to prove our point (even if we know we’re right), let’s learn to reason together. When necessary, take the initiative to step back and agree to disagree. Our passion should be more for winning the lost than promoting doctrines that won’t mean a thing on the other side of eternity.

 “It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel.” 
- Proverbs 20:3

Comments

Wang Tak said…
Doubtlessly, agreeing to disagree is the right thing to do. And before we agree to disagree, we need to test each other out on the differences. The positive thing both sides can do is to deeply consider the opposing views first. For Paul did say that "1Co 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." Paul says the truth comes out of discussions over differences, not avoidance. And after discussions are over, we then agree to disagree. Let each believe what he thinks he chooses to believe, since he cannot be convinced otherwise.

What I disagree with is the stand taken by church leaders not to discuss anything controversial, especially doctrinal stands - gag order style. It is "You must agree, else hold your tongue".

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