I bet we all dislike arguing, at least at a certain level. I have a couple teenagers in my house that seem to embrace it. But even they reach a point where they realize it is getting nowhere. Finding common ground when possible, affirmation of one another as people, and seeking understanding seem to be keys to ending arguing and turning toward discussion. And so I get to this article that I thought was interesting, especially in our East Africa context.
Disagreements in the church discourage me these days. Not the existence of disagreements—those are to be expected. We’ve been living with disagreement since the days of the early church. I’m talking about the way we handle debate.
In the blog post Are Tattoos Worse than Adultery?, Trevin Wax explains how different cultures can come to completely different viewpoints even regarding things that seem to be obvious. And so I want to be a person who moves from disagreement to understanding and peace. I definitely need to be better at cross-cultural communication.
Love this post, Will. So relevant for our culture, but especially for the Church, which at this moment in time, is more a reflection of culture than a reflection of Jesus, it seems to me.
My favorite part of the article: “You can jump to the conclusion that your disagreement is due to the other person’s compromise, or syncretism, or legalism, or self-righteousness. Or you can—as this missionary in Tanzania did—probe deeper to see the underlying roots, where the….passion about [another person’s position] comes from.”
Thanks for sharing.
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“is more a reflection of culture than a reflection of Jesus” – I think about this a lot! Regarding your second paragraph, sadly my first instinct is that I am always right and they have it wrong. I am trying to be wiser.