Monday, September 04, 2006

Christians disagreeing in the blog world (and really, anywhere)

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.

8 comments:

Mason said...

Greetings Ted

I found your blog through Jamie's and I have enjoyed reading it ever since.

Like yourself, I also like to see our brothers and sister talk through things in a loving manner. We don't always have to agree but we should always love and respect each other.

But what do we do with our family memebers that go around and spread nothing but hate and injustice? How do we deal with them? How should we react?

If you want some context to my question I'll refer you to my blog and the post entitled "Whatever happened to loving others?"


Blessings

Ted Gossard said...

Mason,
Thanks for reading and for your kind words.

It is good to look at such as family members as you say (I am thinking of the picture on your posting you refer to). But I do have to wonder if such are really always brothers and sisters in Jesus. I have seen the one website that is infamous here in the States, and saw nothing of the gospel on it at all.

I have to say, I would call such to repentance. And press the truth on them of the gospel of Jesus for all, and in the context of John 3:16-17. These people are not acting as Christians (according to Scripture), so I believe we have to treat such movements as unChristian, and really antiChristian. While seeking to help those ensnared in it, at least by firm warning and prayer.

Just my quick take.

Susan said...

Ted,
You are being so generous! I love what Allan has been sharing and I hope it has all come accross well... I get so nervous about written exchanges because there is so much opportunity for misunderstanding or reading venom or 'tude into words where there are none. So when things go well, it is really cool.

Ted Gossard said...

Susan,
You're so right. Words can be so easily misconstrued. I just think you and Allan's exchange over the last few days is an excellent example of how to work through a disagreement, or have a discussion as Christians- where there are strong convictions that seem, or are at odds with each other.

Blogging in some ways can be a bit difficult for me. I love the exchange of ideas and truth. But sometimes relating and relationship can be left behind. And if so, then we miss the point of our existence in Jesus, and "the Jesus creed" entirely. Though I know blogging is blogging, and does have its limitations (as well as some advantages- another subject).

Thanks!

jazztheo said...

your words are so true...for in the blogosphere, truly the whole world is watching!

jt

Ted Gossard said...

Jazztheo,
Excellent point. And it seems, we so easily can forget that! Better to be wronged even, as Scripture teaches, than to wrong others, in the name of being "right".

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

Thanks for your kind comments. I very much enjoyed the exchanged with Susan. She has helped me think through some things in reference to the church and its ministry.

Ted Gossard said...

Allan,
That's awesome. There is so much I can learn from others in blogging. I think that is a key that I need to key on more.