One of the most challenging situations in a life of faith takes place when we apply our beliefs to the affairs of daily life where opposing opinions exist. This is where relational dustups have taken place in the last two years among believers that previously lived and worshipped together but are now at odds.
What does this mean? It means we have not done a good job teaching people how to express their faith on a variety of issues outside the insulated box of church gatherings. We have not taught people how to remain in fellowship with each other when they enter a place of heated disagreement. When our faith steps outside the safe enclosure of a shared and predictable worldview it reveals our differences in stark clarity.
We can forget that Jesus allows us to have different opinions on a variety of topics while still calling Him Lord and embracing each other as brothers and sisters. Disagreement is not the end of our fellowship. It has been a shock to our collective faith system to realize we are currently divided from each other on a whole host of opinions. This is not division in the Body of Christ over important issues like the deity of Christ or Jesus being the only pathway to salvation. It is a division of our opinions about lesser issues.
Here is a reality check – none of these issues will ever be completely resolved in this life. People will still have their opinions and feel strongly about their point of view. The great temptation is to walk away and call it quits.
The world knows we have differing opinions within the Church. What they have not yet seen is how we can live together in harmony amidst our differences of opinion and still worship the Lord together and remain true to our corporate calling. There are no spiritual airbags to protect us from these collisions. We must embrace them with love and integrity. This is the expression of an honest faith.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins