Thursday, August 18, 2005

Common Excuses for Perpetual Disobedience to Scripture

"At the end of the day, we're going to come out in the same place."

"I see it as a wisdom issue."

"That's just going to play itself out differently in every church."

"Ultimately, we are going to have to agree to disagree."

"I really think we're arguing over semantics."

"That's just your interpretation. Good men disagree on this point."

"We've always done it that way."

"The kind of change you're talking about is going to take time."


kevin mcfadden said...

Hmm... I guess one problem is that some of these can be legit.

Will said...

They are not legit if they are perpetual. They are delay tactics to avoid dealing with a truth you do not like.

Unk said...

How about, "Yes, but we need to be balanced."

Greg Linscott said...

I would have to concur with KWM. Sometimes these statements can be applied to issues faced in local churches not clearly delineated in Scripture. For instance,

"I think all our church families should homeschool their kids."

"The internet is an inherently evil medium."

Let's say a church takes an official position on music, and it is discovered someone's personal standard differs from that of the church. Should we immediately pursue an inquiry and labor toward church discipline? Or can we "agree to disagree" while maintaining the established church policy and allow the Holy Spirit to continue to work in the heart and help that person grow in that area (assuming, of course, the person is not publically questioning and defying the practice of the church).

I am also learning that issues faced in the administration of a local church DO involve a process of time. "The kind of change you're talking about is going to take time" is a statement that will need to be applied to some situations.

I have had some issues involving particular ministries that needed to be addressed here in my church (and some that will still need to be). As I sought the counsel of an experienced pastor I respect, he asked me this question- "Which would better glorify the Lord- making the change suddenly and dividing or dissolving your church, or addressing the issue gradually and keeping it intact?"

Ben said...

The fact that these are common excuses for perpetual disobedience does not imply that any time these words are used they are being used as an excuse.

Just most of the time.

I read an anonymous author say recently, "All I know is that if there were a Golden Calf on our Communion Table and I was told that there was gentle but firm leadership 'trying to change' things, I would not be going quietly."

So how much time should we allow before we tear down and grind up the golden calf?

Or is that a wisdom issue?

Perhaps we need to be more balanced in our approach? (Nice one, by the way, unk.)

Angus said...

I'ver always enjoyed the early Brethren writers (was my church background in my youth), and Robert C Chapman has been among my favourites - an elder in a church in Barnstable, England in the 1800s. In response to the often repeaed "We'll just agree to disagree", he gives what I think is one of the best replis possible:

"We won't agree to disagree, for that would belittle God's truth, but we shall agree to love despite our disagreements"

I sure think that is much wiser. I don't know about you, but if I hold a bleief, it's because it is the best understanding I have of God's Word, and while sure, I may be wrong on some things, I truly believe the things I hold to to be the truth, and so cannot so easily dismiss them as to say we'll simply agree to disagree. However, I have likewise known many people who have divided on issues of such minor import (when compared to such things as the divinity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement), like whether or not women should wear hats in church, that I have learned to hate the unlovingness (if I can coin a word) that is often shown in disputes among brothers and sisters in Christ. So, we should tenaciously hold to and defend what we believe in good conscience to be the truth before God, but we should equally love our brothers and sisters (and those without the family of God) with the same love Jesus did.

Anyway, continue to appreciate the blog!