Year 2020 seems to be the Year-of-Discord. We’re a divided and fragmented people, and it feels like it’s getting worse.
Christians used to disagree about music, church worship format, versions of the Bible, and lifestyle issues. Remember the old ditty, “I don’t drink, and I don’t chew, and I don’t go with girls who do?” That was funny, and though it strikes us as innocent now, it captured some of the church battles of the past fifty years.
In 2020, issues are more intense.
We strenuously disagree about COVID-19: Wear a mask—Don’t wear a mask.
We disagree about how to deal with racism and position slogans in opposition: “Black lives matter” vs “Blue lives matter” vs “All lives matter.”
We disagree about sexuality – LGBTQ, same-sex marriage, and much more.
…about the 2nd Amendment and defunding the police.
…about climate change, and what causes wildfires or hurricanes.
…about immigration, borders, and how to help the poor.
…about “Make America Great Again” vs. “Build Back Better.”
These issues are dividing the Church. The Body of Christ is increasingly at odds with itself.
Yet God said, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” There is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all. (Eph. 3:4-6).
Discord makes a field day for the Devil. A divided Church, one lacking unity, is a less effective Church. If we are not able to get along with other Christians in our fellowship—or God forbid we’re exchanging rancor and distrust—we are not blessed with fellowship. And worse, we offer nothing to those seeking peace and hope.
Now this does not mean we cannot disagree. In fact, respectful disagreement promotes critical thinking or spiritual discernment and wise decisions. Nor is this an argument for the moral equivalency of all issues, because this is untrue. The Bible speaks directly to the morality of some issues, while providing principles upon which we can draw to decide our stance regarding other issues.
In all this, we must disagree in a context of a Christian faith, meaning
--we affirm biblical values,
--we embrace Christian liberty and allow for differences of conscience,
--we speak the truth in love,
--we exercise grace with humility, knowing we all see through a glass darkly.
Politics are important but not more important than Christian faith.
We must honor others above ourselves…even and especially those with whom we disagree.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020
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