I have been blessed today, and in recent days, in seeing Christians in the blog world, talk through disagreements. In an agreeable spirit. At times disagreeing. But at other times coming to a better understanding of each other's postion -and maybe their own (my experience).
There are times to take a strong stand. This is when someone is denying the truth, and in essence in danger of denying the Truth himself. In fear and trembling, along with love and even with a spirit of tears (if not the reality), we need to gently, yet firmly warn such. But first of all really probe, so as to understand. So as to avoid any possible misunderstanding.
What about those Christian bloggers who blast those who don't see eye to eye with them on theology or on the culture war, or various other issues? I think we need to let them know that our blog or conversation, will not allow for that kind of exchange. Hard words of disagreeing are okay, if done in a way that is respectful. Out of that can come an exchange that could result in change, or better understanding. But otherwise, there is nothing left but the smoke from heat, not warmth and vision from light.
Back to the original point: I think listening to each other, and respecting positions, regardless of whether or not we have any agreement with them, or not- is important. And like Jesus. Susan Arnold and Allan Bevere have been a blessing to me, in talking through an issue about which they each deeply care about. We must be careful, that in our discussions, and even debates, that we keep the spirit of Jesus. In listening, speaking truth in love, with humility. Knowing that we haven't arrived. And willing to learn and concede when we are wrong, or can improve our understanding on something.