Over the last few weeks, I have run many articles on the subject of unity. Since 2020, it seems (to me at least) that we have allowed the drama in the world with COVID, politics and other things to divide us. Many churches of Christ have closed their doors because of discouragement, and problems that have risen in congregations. Satan has been at work, brothers and sisters. Perhaps it is because we have been to attached to this world and its “knowledge” that we have forgotten who really is in charge. Perhaps it is because we cannot seem to escape the world views that we don’t take a deep breath and refamiliarize ourselves with the One who has created us in His image. We focus more on the problems than the problem solver — JESUS. We forget that this world is not home, Heaven is.
Until the time the Lord calls us home to be with him, we still have responsibilities to worship and serve the Lord of Heaven and Earth. And, as his people, in HIS church, we have the responsibility to WORK TOGETHER to glorify him and his name. My prayer is that we remember our Master, that we remember that we are brethren, and that we work, not just for one person’s opinion, but for the good of all. WE NEED ONE ANOTHER! WE NEED GOD! I hope that I can encourage you to be all you can be for the Lord. Until then, let us work for unity based on our love for GOD FIRST, and our brethren second, and for a lost and dying world.
WHEN GOOD BRETHREN DISAGREE
Good brethren have always had disagreements. Paul and Barnabas had one. Euodia and Syntyche had one. Brethren in Corinth disagreed. The same was true in Antioch. This points up the fact that disagreements among Christians have always been commonplace. What should brethren do WHEN THEY DISAGAREE?
Some are adamant and think that anyone who disagrees with them is insincere and incapable of forming correct judgments. This is a wrong attitude which indicates a highly conceited disposition. Such an attitude, more often than not, causes ill feelings to exist between good people.
Some go behind the scenes to try to influence others in their thinking while, at the same time, are trying to prejudice people against those who disagree with them. This, too, is a wrong attitude, and more often than not, stirs up harsh feelings that bring hurtful actions.
Others lose their tempers and become red-faced and furious when someone disagrees with them. Such people usually do not see their own intemperance and uncharitable attitudes in such actions. Others, however, observe them quite easily, and lose a measure of respect for them.
There are still others who distrust the judgment of anyone except themselves. They are the cause of much ill will and schismatic activity. When errors in their thinking are brought to their attention, they take it as a personal insult. Such attitudes are productive of much harm.
When good brethren disagree on a matter, whether it is great or small in importance, each should carefully consider both sides of the matter. Emotions should not be a factor. Acting on emotions while tossing factual information out the window would be foolish. Many worthy projects have been ruined because someone refused to give proper consideration of the facts. Brethren need to make carefully considered judgments that are based on truth, facts, reality and the good to be accomplished. What can be accomplished in the long term increases significantly when this is done. And the path ahead, whether leading to new missions, new benevolent works, building programs, or other worthy works, will be much smoother to travel.
Wendell Needham, Via Central Church of Christ, December 17, 1989