Summary: Disagreements among Christians are inevitable, but they can be overcome.
WHEN CHRISTIANS DISAGREE
Acts 15:1-2, 36-41
INTRO.- Do people ever disagree? Do Christians ever disagree? What a question! Of course, they do. All people disagree at times.
ILL.- Two boys were fighting and one was on top of the other. Finally, the mother of the boy who was on top came out and called her son. He hit the boy on the bottom a few more times and then spit in his eye.
His mother said to him, “Why do you fight all the time? IT MUST BE THE DEVIL IN YOU.” After a little thought, the boy replied, “It may be the devil in me that makes me fight, but spitting in that guy’s eye was my own idea.”
Brethren, 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.
ILL.- A very wealthy man was dying and decided to face up to the fact. He called his attorney to his bedside and after telling his wife not to cry, he started to dispose of all his worldly possessions.
“I want to leave my Cadillac to my son George.” His wife Bertha interrupted and said, “You should leave it to Joe. He’s a better driver and he’ll take care of it.” “Okay,” the man said.
He went on, “I want to leave my Rolls Royce to my daughter, Linda.” His wife Bertha interrupted again and said, “You’d be better off to leave it to the your nephew Willie.” “All right,” he said, “I will leave my Rolls Royce to my nephew Willie instead of my daughter, Linda.”
He went on, “And I leave my Volvo to my niece, Sally. She is such a sweetheart.” Again, his wife Bertha interrupted and said, “I think Judy should get it.”
Unable to take it any longer, the man said, “BERTHA, PLEASE, WHO’S DYING? YOU OR ME?”
Yes, husbands and wives often disagree. And even on the deathbed, some married couples will never agree.
ILL.- A teenage daughter was talking to her dad as the boom box was playing her loud music. She said to her dad, “Did you ever hear any music as good as that?” Her dad replied, “Yeah, only once when two trucks collided and one exploded.”
Do parents and their children ever disagree? What I want to know is: DO THEY EVER AGREE ON ANYTHING?
ILL.- A salesman said that he’d only gotten three orders for an entire week’s worth of work, and they came from his boss: GET OUT. STAY OUT. AND DON’T COME BACK.
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!
ILL.- The evangelist was preaching when suddenly a heckler in the audience shouted, “Listen to him! His father used to drive a wagon led by a donkey.”
“That’s right,” said the evangelist, “and today my father and the wagon are gone. BUT I SEE WE STILL HAVE THE DONKEY WITH US.”
Do Christian people ever disagree about ministers and other matters in the church? Why, of course, they do.
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.
1- A disagreement over a principle
Acts 15:1-2 “Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: ‘Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.’ This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them.”