Whenever thoughtful people get together and pool their ideas, they start disagreeing. Fine. We’re all better off. Or, I hope we are. Thing is, we have to bring even our disagreements under the judgment of the gospel. It’s not as though the mere expression of opinions is itself sacrosanct. Nothing about us is sacrosanct, except Christ in us.
Why does God bring us together in Christian associations — churches, denominations, networks, coalitions, friendships? What are we welcoming one another into? Certainly, “not to quarrel over opinions” (Romans 14:1). I do not believe we Christians are on the planet to form a debate club. Yes, even the early church, with revelation an immediate experience, entered together into “much discussion” (Acts 15:7). But gospel discussion is not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. Gospel discussion is for the purpose of pressing into clearer agreement on matters “of first importance” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Or, if that is unachievable, at least more charitable and regretful disagreement. But mere debate on secondary and tertiary matters — well, I don’t think that’s what Jesus died and rose again to give us.
I am not saying this to embarrass any commenter who disagrees with me. Not at all. I just want to explain my purpose in blogging in the first place. My purpose is not to disagree with anyone, certainly not to “fix” anyone. I blog in order to rejoice in God. Anything I might ever say on secondary and tertiary matters comes out of my own rejoicing in him, as I understand him. I am not making a statement about you or how I think you should feel. I am making statements about him and how I feel about him. If you disagree with what I am saying, you may well be right. And maybe not. But I do know why God has brought us all together in our many settings: “Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15:7). To welcome, to receive, to embrace, to rejoice, as we make room for one another on secondary and tertiary matters.
It is a privilege to blog for the glory of God, especially here at The Gospel Coalition. Thank you for visiting my blog. Welcome!