the case for mutual agreement

how can mutual agreement be achieved in the church?  varying points of views may come in conflict with one another, and varying interests may compete, on certain issues.

here are some principles to guide you in seeking to achieve mutual agreement within the body.

“my way” is — more often than not — not the way.  this attitude reveals intolerance and stubbornness.  it does not make the case for mutual agreement.

oftentimes, keeping or preserving personal relationships is more important than tenaciously hanging on to beliefs and practices, that are not vital to the salvation of your soul, or the life and well-being of the church (eg. should church prayer meeting be on sunday or can it be done on a weekday?)  oftentimes, not insisting on non-vital issues for the sake of general edification, is an exchange worth making, in the long run.  this makes the case for mutual agreement.

but.  some vital issues, issues vital to the salvation of your soul, or to the life and well-being of the church, (eg. salvation by grace through faith; “no” to same-sex marriage,) cannot be sacrificed.  irreconcilable differences on these points, when these prevail, become sad — sometimes bitter — times of parting or separation between brothers, friends, or allies.

biblical wisdom is the guiding principle by which you ought to determine what is vital and non-vital, in your quest to preserve the truth in your life.  you need to grow in your understanding of the scritpures.

humility or lowliness of mind is the operative disposition in which you ought — it is your duty — to regard the person (primarily) and the belief or point of view (secondarily) of the others in your congregation.  humility is the cradle of respect.  this (again) makes the case for mutual agreement.

agreeing to disagree on certain issues makes the case not only for mutual agreement, but more importantly, for mutual respect.

above all, patience is the crowning virtue of all, in the achievement of mutual agreement.  patience trumps all virtue, because patience paves the way to change.  patience changes you.

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