For the past few months, I have noticed a disturbing trend on social media. We have lost the ability to disagree with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Does not matter the conversation whether it is Lebron is better than Jordan, which I don't think he is, or if one movie is better than the other. A lot of the disagreements from conversations I have witnessed has been more theological conversations.
Some of them stem from baptism to racial reconciliation. One person on Twitter asked if his followers believer in Old Earth (the earth has been around of millions of years) or Young Earth (meaning the earth has been here for thousands of years). When one person responded that he believed in a Young Earth, the person who asked the question, flew off the digital handle. If you haven't figured it out, the person asking the question in believed in an Old Earth Creation.
Christians should always agree on the essential doctrine of the Bible such as salvation and the Trinity. Christians have others beliefs that may not seem essential meaning they are not heretical but left for interpretation. For example, baptism. We have those who believe that baptism is for believers only (credo Baptist), which that is what I believe along with many in the Baptist church, and we have those who believe that believers and their children should be baptized (paedo Baptist), which is what Presbyterians believe. This is an important doctrine, but the mode is still up for debate. Sadly, the baptism debate on Twitter has gotten out of hand at times where it almost looks like everyone is about to hit one another with a chair.
Christians are called to speak the truth in love. What about when we disagree? To clarify, I am not talking about confronting a brother or sister who is in sin. Yes, we need to confront that person as Matthew 18 shows us. The issue I am addressing is our disagreements over non-essential doctrines.
The first thing we need to remember is a disagreement among believers does not mean they are attacking you even though there are some believers that sound like they are. We need to not take it personally if someone disagrees with us. We need to be patient. Maybe they do not understand our point of view on the matter, which is why there needs to be healthy dialogue. For example, I think, in my own opinion, the reason why the church has such a hostile view toward alcohol is that the church has not had some healthy dialogue about the matter. They have seen the effects it bring to someone a decided that anyone who takes a drink is in sin without looking at what the Bible says about it.
Another thing we must do is listen to the other person. Don't shut them out. Maybe you are wrong about a particular matter as it relate to the Bible. Hopefully, they will be willing to do the same thing and maybe they will be convinced if they are wrong. What if you and the other person are not convinced, then continue to love one another as brothers/sisters in the Lord.
Finally, we need to always go to the Lord for wisdom on how to address this person. Remember, I am not talking about sin, which we should seek the Lord in confronting a brother or sister who is living in sin. We should always seek wisdom from God in addressing what we believe whether to another believer or a non-believer. In this case, we should seek wisdom when there can be no common ground in this issue.
I realized this might difficult for some of you when it comes to disagreeing with someone because you want to get your point across. I get that. I know I have in the past been vocal about things I believe and when someone disagrees with me, I have reacted wrongly, which is one of the reasons I stay clear from baptism debates. All they do is produce hurt feelings. Some do personally attack you, which is why I have said, they have gotten out of hand.
I pray when we interact with one another whether online or in person, we always do it in grace and truth.