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37818
05-22-2014, 10:23 PM
When professing Christians disagree results in the church divisions we see.

". . . Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. . . ." -- 1 Corinthians 1:10.

Before two who disagree on a matter can ever come to any agreement, both need to come to a common understanding as to what the very points of disagreement are.

This is easy to say. But not easy to be done. But why make it harder than it needs to be?

None of us, I hope, sets out to be wrong in what one believes on a matter. We believe stuff on the premise that what is being believed is in fact true.

An disagreement might have four or more views. And every different interpretation has parts which are either one way or another. To make sense out of what is otherwise complex, each difference must be evaluated in pairs. Two at a time. What must be agreed on, is identifying what it is being disagreed on. So even two views, may consist of more than two things disagreed upon, as to understandings which make up the two views. In other words, the disagreement consists of some things more fundamental than the "two views" being disagreed upon.

To say this in another way:

It is easy to point out disagreements. What is difficult is identifying the elements which cause the disagreement. And those elements, or principle disagreements must be only dealt with in pairs. And if there is a difficulty there, that means there is even a more fundamental disagreement.

One Bad Pig
05-23-2014, 06:45 AM
Lots of good stuff here. I disagree that disagreements necessarily cause division; there are some differences which are simply not important enough to divide over. When there is agreement that an issue is not important enough to divide over, then disagreements on it will not cause division.

Cow Poke
05-23-2014, 07:18 AM
Lots of good stuff here. I disagree that disagreements necessarily cause division; there are some differences which are simply not important enough to divide over. When there is agreement that an issue is not important enough to divide over, then disagreements on it will not cause division.

It has often been said that Churches don't split over theology -- they split over personalities, polices, procedures...

And, when somebody from a different Church background seeks to join our Church, I talk to them about the ESSENTIALS of beliefs for fellowship, and how any disagreement might impact their "fit" with us. I think that's healthy, and I have had, for example, a number of Pentecostals and Charismatics worship with us. The key has been, for those individuals, that they feel a sense of "submission" to the leadership of the Pastor, and would not do anything to undermine his role. That's not a "requirement" I put on them -- it's their way of saying "even though I believe differently on things, I won't do anything to cause division."

Paprika
05-23-2014, 07:21 AM
polices,
Such as yourself?
:outtie:

Cow Poke
05-23-2014, 07:24 AM
Such as yourself?
:outtie:

Laughing.... perhaps!

robrecht
05-23-2014, 07:29 AM
The fundamental point of disagreement generally seems to boil down to an argument over authority and interpretation of those authorities. Divine truth is not so easy to nail down into binary right and wrong pairs of statements. I think some contradictory views can, from a larger perspective, be seen as both containing true elements of a much larger truth that is beyond our present comprehension and ability to define. The authoritarian approach to truth does not have a particularly good track record, in my opinion, because they are, from a larger perspective, only human authorities usually doing the best they can to understand the divine Author.

Cow Poke
05-23-2014, 07:32 AM
The fundamental point of disagreement generally seems to boil down to an argument over authority and interpretation of those authorities. Divine truth is not so easy to nail down into binary right and wrong pairs of statements. I think some contradictory views can, from a larger perspective, be seen as both containing true elements of a much larger truth that is beyond our present comprehension and ability to define. The authoritarian approach to truth does not have a particularly good track record, in my opinion, because they are, from a larger perspective, only human authorities usually doing the best they can to understand the divine Author.

And I believe that our "focus" has a lot to do with this. If we are focused on winning the lost and ministering to others, there's less opportunity for internal conflict. If our focus is "in these four walls", there's much greater opportunity for conflict.

rogue06
05-23-2014, 09:03 AM
Lots of good stuff here. I disagree that disagreements necessarily cause division; there are some differences which are simply not important enough to divide over. When there is agreement that an issue is not important enough to divide over, then disagreements on it will not cause division.
This brings up the famous line often attributed to Augustine[1] "in necessary things unity; in uncertain things freedom [or liberty]; in everything compassion" which I think is by far the best approach to take. This method is further supported by Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica when he wrote


"In discussing questions of this kind two rules are to be observed, as Augustine teaches. The first is, to hold to the truth of the Scripture without wavering. The second is that since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing."








1. The actual quote, "In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas" actually appears to originate from Marco Antonio Dominis who said it in 1617, although as Aquinas shows, this seems to reflect a sentiment held by Augustine.

Cow Poke
05-23-2014, 10:21 AM
This brings up the famous line often attributed to Augustine[1] "in necessary things unity; in uncertain things freedom [or liberty]; in everything compassion" which I think is by far the best approach to take. This method is further supported by Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica when he wrote


"In discussing questions of this kind two rules are to be observed, as Augustine teaches. The first is, to hold to the truth of the Scripture without wavering. The second is that since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing."








1. The actual quote, "In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas" actually appears to originate from Marco Antonio Dominis who said it in 1617, although as Aquinas shows, this seems to reflect a sentiment held by Augustine.

Yeah.

37818
05-23-2014, 07:00 PM
. . . I disagree that disagreements necessarily cause division; . . . You are correct, in that disagreement does not necessitate division. But that does not change the fact that division involves disagreement.

When professing Christians disagree results in the church divisions we see. Would you have preferred, "Church divisions we see are the result of professing Christians disagreeing." Which being stated that way is always true. Generalizations are not always true. My original statement was in the form of a generalization.

KingsGambit
05-23-2014, 07:04 PM
Offhand, I can think of a few places where Paul indicates that it's okay for people to have different opinions/convictions about some things, so I see that as a hint that we can't press the principle in 1 Corinthians 1:10 so far as to say that everybody has to think identically.

What CP was saying about Christians dividing over things other than doctrines/personalities made me think about how Paul and Barnabas split, and how it wasn't over doctrine.

One Bad Pig
05-23-2014, 07:06 PM
You are correct, in that disagreement does not necessitate division. But that does not change the fact that division involves disagreement.
Would you have preferred, "Church divisions we see are the result of professing Christians disagreeing." Which being stated that way is always true. Generalizations are not always true. My original statement was in the form of a generalization.
Yeah, that would've been somewhat better. I wasn't intending to show sharp disagreement.

Thoughtful Monk
05-23-2014, 08:30 PM
Lots of good stuff here. I disagree that disagreements necessarily cause division; there are some differences which are simply not important enough to divide over. When there is agreement that an issue is not important enough to divide over, then disagreements on it will not cause division.

Sorry on coming in late. I agree with you One Bad Pig. My experience with divisions is too many are over the non-essentials of the faith. KJV Onlyism comes to mind and there are many others.

Thoughtful Monk
05-23-2014, 08:32 PM
The fundamental point of disagreement generally seems to boil down to an argument over authority and interpretation of those authorities. Divine truth is not so easy to nail down into binary right and wrong pairs of statements. I think some contradictory views can, from a larger perspective, be seen as both containing true elements of a much larger truth that is beyond our present comprehension and ability to define. The authoritarian approach to truth does not have a particularly good track record, in my opinion, because they are, from a larger perspective, only human authorities usually doing the best they can to understand the divine Author.

:thumb:

I wish more Christians had this recognition.

Thoughtful Monk
05-23-2014, 08:44 PM
You are correct, in that disagreement does not necessitate division. But that does not change the fact that division involves disagreement.
Would you have preferred, "Church divisions we see are the result of professing Christians disagreeing." Which being stated that way is always true. Generalizations are not always true. My original statement was in the form of a generalization.

I like your restatement.

May I suggestion there some important distinctions to be noted when professing Christians disagree. At first glance, it reads like mature Christians disagreeing. To my mind, there are the following causes and to me an example of each:


Christians genuinely disagreeing over doctrine that is not clearly established in Scripture. Example: debate between Calvinism and Arminanism.
Christians who are in error and not admitting it. Example: a new Christian denying the necessity of the bodily Resurrection of Christ.
Outsiders coming in to change the church to conform to a non-Christian standard. Example: Someone who comes in with an agenda of converting the church's position on abortion.
Christians disagreeing over non-doctrine issues (this is probably the biggest cause). Example: do we build a new building?


While outsiders may not notice the difference in cause, I think we should and have different responses accordingly.

Paprika
05-23-2014, 08:45 PM
Offhand, I can think of a few places where Paul indicates that it's okay for people to have different opinions/convictions about some things, so I see that as a hint that we can't press the principle in 1 Corinthians 1:10 so far as to say that everybody has to think identically.

What CP was saying about Christians dividing over things other than doctrines/personalities made me think about how Paul and Barnabas split, and how it wasn't over doctrine.
It appears to me that often the split is justified over difference in doctrine when actually the real reasons are much more trivial.

KingsGambit
05-23-2014, 09:09 PM
It appears to me that often the split is justified over difference in doctrine when actually the real reasons are much more trivial.

I heavily suspect you're correct.

37818
03-01-2015, 07:40 AM
I like your restatement.

May I suggestion there some important distinctions to be noted when professing Christians disagree. At first glance, it reads like mature Christians disagreeing. To my mind, there are the following causes and to me an example of each:


Christians genuinely disagreeing over doctrine that is not clearly established in Scripture. Example: debate between Calvinism and Arminanism.
Christians who are in error and not admitting it. Example: a new Christian denying the necessity of the bodily Resurrection of Christ.
Outsiders coming in to change the church to conform to a non-Christian standard. Example: Someone who comes in with an agenda of converting the church's position on abortion.
Christians disagreeing over non-doctrine issues (this is probably the biggest cause). Example: do we build a new building?


While outsiders may not notice the difference in cause, I think we should and have different responses accordingly.
:yes:

Also different conclusions mean different presuppositions. Identifying what they are can often help understand another's point of view.
:bump: