“Disputatious” Christians

Last Sunday, our pastor talked about famous Christians who are dropping out of church.

One of them, author Anne Rice, became a believer 10 years ago and recently announced she was leaving the church while remaining a Christian.

She said: “It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.”

Quite a damning statement.

Our pastor’s main point in his sermon was that the church is vital to Christian growth and the Christian life. I agree with him.

Yet, I am troubled by the truth of Anne Rice’s statement. It is hard to find a church where there is not a dispute of some kind.

As Christians, we are called to love one another. Not necessarily to be “best buddies” with everyone, although that would be great. But certainly to care for each other and want the best for one another.

Like most Christians, I have differences of view and opinion with other Christians. Yet, over the years, I have come to realize that forcing my view on someone else never works.

In the end, what is more important – building loving, Christ-like relations with others, or winning my point?

Of course, there are cases where churches make serious theological mistakes or other spiritually-damaging errors. These have to be opposed by believers.

But, my reading of the Bible is that I should not demean the person I disagree with. Instead, I should go to the limit and pray God’s blessing on him or her. I should seek his good in prayer and in my dealings with him.

I confess to having wrong feelings about some people who don’t see things my way. God wants me to deal with these feelings by asking him for forgiveness and for praying God’s peace and blessing on those people.

I have to always keep in mind that I could be wrong about my cherished viewpoint. Or, it is possible God is moving in our church in a way that I had not anticipated. Perhaps he wants to use the person I disagree with to advance his kingdom.

I will continue to seek what I believe is right for our church. But I am also convinced I must love those I disagree with and pursue godly relations with them.


2 comments so far

  1. Andrew Douglas on

    This is such a good word. I was just talking about this with Cam today. I love this post.

  2. Robert Douglas on

    Thank you, Andrew.

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