Big Questions #5
What about all the times that Christians disagree?
Pastor Jonathan Schaeffer May 13, 2020
Freedom: Christianity allows for diversity in a lot of areas.
Unity: There is a commitment to Biblical teaching on the most important matters.
“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NLT)
- How clear is the Bible on this doctrine?
- What is this doctrine’s importance to the gospel?
- What is the testimony of the historic church concerning this doctrine?
- What is this doctrine’s effect upon the church today? Finding the Right Hills to Die On, Gavin Ortlund
In essentials, unity.
In non-essentials, liberty.
In all things, charity.
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
- Aim for unity on Beliefs
- Accept differences on Convictions
- Hold very lightly to your Preferences
“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.” Romans 14:1-3, NLT
“In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.” Romans 14:5-6, NLT
A person with a strong conscience tends to be CONDESCENDING.
A person with a weak conscience tends to be CRITICAL.
Accept others who have different convictions
“Accept other believers…accept each other just as Christ has accepted you.” Romans 14:1; 15:7
Don’t be argumentative
“…and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.” Romans 14:1
Love other people more than you love your view
“So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer?” Romans 14:10
Prioritize the growth of those around you
“Live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another Christian’s path.” Romans 14:13
Enjoy your freedom privately.
“You may have faith to believe that there is nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God.” Romans 14:22
Live for the approval of Jesus
“If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” Romans 14:18-19
- What do you talk more about—your personal views or your relationship with Jesus?
- Do you love people more than you love your opinions?
- Do you genuinely love those with whom you disagree?
“Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
- Conscience: What It Is, How to Train It, and Loving Those who Differ, Naselli and Crowley (2016).
- Finding the Right Hills to Die On, Gavin Ortlund (2020)
- “On Disputable Matters,” D. A. Carson, themelios (December 20150
- Introduction to Biblical Ethics, McQuilkin and Copan (2014)