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Friday, July 8, 2016

AGREE TO DISAGREE

You actually believe you don't have to be baptized in water to be saved? John said to me as our classmates at Combat Camera School gathered around us.
I believe we get the Spirit at the moment of salvation, I said.
You have to be baptized in water to get the Holy Spirit! He continued. Now the entire class listened.
 I was uncomfortable discussing doctrine in front of non-believers.
If you two Christians cannot agree why would we even want to listen to you about God? Steven, another classmate, said, as he walked away.
My heart sank.  John kept talking. 
 You have to be baptized in water to be saved!
I remained silent.
I excused myself and John followed me down the hall to continue the discussion.
A few others followed behind John.  They didn't want to miss the show.
John, I whispered.  We shouldn't discuss this in front of everyone.
John interrupted me, Why not? You know I am right! 
The followers smirked and whispered to one another.
John's brow furrowed as I kept silent.
Do you argue with fellow believers just to prove your doctrinal point? 
 I have.  At the time it made me feel powerful and intelligent. 
The Apostle Paul encouraged the believer at Phillipi to be united in Christ.
 Do everything without grumbling or arguing  Philippians 2:14

Let me be clear; I am not arguing the point of water baptism here. 
I am concerned about the way we as believers discuss our views on Bible Doctrine. 

I have heard pastors preach hate from the pulpit toward those who do not have the same beliefs.

I have seen written personal attacks on Facebook when one believer doesn't agree with another's doctrine.
My heart breaks. What happened to respect and love? 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen Ephesians 4:29

Why would anyone want to join us in the family of God if we can't reason together in love? (tweet this)   
I know, for me, I was afraid to be wrong.  How prideful of me. 
 I had to ask myself,  Do I have to be right or can I listen to another's belief and learn something?
Not one of us has a complete grasp of the Bible.
 I have seen views change, including my own, after taking the time to study the Scriptures.

Each of us is at a different point in our walk with God.
We can agree to disagree. The most loving families don't agree on everything. 

In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in 
all things, charity. - historically attributed to Augustine



After a few one on one conversations with John, we agreed to disagree.  We apologized to the class for being rude.  A few classmates came to us and thanked us.  We were able to share Jesus with them.
Isn't that what it is all about?
Have you argued over doctrines of the Bible? 
Please join the discussion.







7 comments:

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heather said...

This is so needed. There are a few core essentials, but after that, respect and humility are crucial.

Heather Bock

CHERRILYNN BISBANO said...

Heather, Thank you for the encouragement. In my original draft I discussed Secondary Issues, however, the more I read it, the more I realized some believers may "discuss" the essentials without love and respect. May God bless you as you serve Him.

Katy Kauffman said...

It's easy to get caught up in a discussion that quickly becomes an argument. Sometimes God may want us to stay quiet, but when He wants us to speak, calmness of heart should prevail and pointing to what Scripture says. That is our objective authority. It's a tough subject - doctrine and how to interpret Scripture sometimes. But calmness and Godly love should definitely prevail in those instances.

CHERRILYNN BISBANO said...

Amen, Katy. Calmness and love should prevail. Thank you for your comment. I always appreciate your input.

Lonnie said...

What a great post, and so needed! Thank you. Ephesians 4:29 is one of my memory verses, and for good reason. My prayer lately has been, "God, help me know when to speak up and when to shut up." I, also, do not want to hinder unbelievers coming to Jesus. Thanks again for a great post.

CHERRILYNN BISBANO said...

Lonnie, Thank you for the encouragement. Eph. 4:29 was one of our wedding vows. We did not do the typical vows we used Bible verses. Yes, we have broken our vow, but praise be to God for forgiveness. Thank you for sharing