Summary: Disagreements aren’t so bad. It’s when people become disagreeable that things get bad!
AUG 4 2013PM When Christians Disagree
Do people ever disagree? Do Christians ever disagree? Silly question! Of course, they do. All people disagree at times. We live in a world of discontent, and I really believe that most of it is the devil’s fault. He is a liar, a deceiver, and a troublemaker. He is out to cause trouble for people anyway he can. And if he can get people to quarrel and fight with one another, then he will. He will use every dirty tool he can think of to cause wars, fighting and discontent. Disagreement and discontent are everywhere in the world.
Do parents and their children ever disagree? What I want to know is: DO THEY EVER AGREE ON ANYTHING? Is there ever disagreement in the workplace? Between the boss and the employees? Between the employees and the employees? Of course. All the time. Not only is there disagreement in the home and in the work place, but also, in almost every place you can think of! Disagreements even happen in the church!
Do Christian people ever disagree about ministers and other matters in the church? That’s a touchy one.
I Cor. 1:10-11 “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.”
QUARRELING. I would say that is definitely a sign of disagreement. In every church I’ve served or known about there have been disagreements among church members and leaders and ministers. And disagreements aren’t so bad. It’s when people become disagreeable that things get bad! I’ve always heard it said that there is nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone, but when we become disagreeable in our attitude and speech, it’s then that we have a real problem!
In our text of Acts 15, we read that even the apostle Paul experienced some disagreements with others. One disagreement had to do with a principle and the second had to do with an opinion.
1st - A disagreement over a principle. In verses 1-2 we have talked about the disagreement over a principle—some Pharisee believers were telling the new Gentile believers that they had to be circumcised to be saved. This wasn’t correct.
No church has all the right answers. We don’t know everything. We don’t have all the answers. To say that we’re right and others are wrong and are going to hell is wrong. That’s legalism!
People ask me questions all the time about various things in the church. And if the Word of God is not clear-cut about it, I would have to say, “I don’t run the show. God does.” None of us have all the answers. No one person is right about everything and every issue and this is why we must not become legalistic about things.
2nd - A second disagreement that Paul had with Barnabas was over an opinion. READ Acts 15:36-40. And this disagreement is where our story takes place tonight.
Paul and Barnabas disagreed over whether or not to take Mark with them on their missionary journey. Barnabas wanted to take Mark and Paul didn’t want to because he had deserted them on another trip. READ v. 39. What do you think of that?
It’s almost hard to believe that Paul had such a disagreement that he and Barnabas had to part company. And it was all over a matter of opinion. Disagreements over matters of opinion are a major problem in many churches, but it shouldn’t be that way.
ILL.- Here’s an example of two Christians who disagreed over the music in their church. One said, “You know, I think when we worship on Sunday morning, we shouldn’t clap because Sunday morning ought to be a time of reverence.” The other Christian said, “No, I think Sunday morning ought to be a time of joy and rejoicing in the Lord.” “Well,” the first man said, “The Bible says God’s house is to be a house of prayer.” “Yes,” said the other man, “But the Bible also says that Sunday is a time of celebrating the resurrection of Christ.” “Yes,” the first man said, “The Bible also says ‘be still and know that I am God.’” The other man said, “It also says, ‘make a joyful noise unto the Lord.’”
Who was right and who was wrong? They were both right, but to become disagreeable over their opinion was wrong. Your opinion is no more important than mine. And opinions are just opinions, but some people see their opinion as being gospel truth. And that opinion is bound to cause disagreement in any church.