Agree to Disagree

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

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The Bible is the infallible word of God, right? To believe in God means believing everything in the Bible, doesn’t it? Then who can there be so much confusion on what people believe the Bible says?  Do we just agree to disagree or is there only one truth?

The phrase “agree to disagree” does not appear anywhere in the Bible. God’s word teaches that we are to agree. Paul wrote in Romans 16:17, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” To the Corinthians he wrote, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Almost a year later he wrote to remind them, “be of one mind” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

Paul did not “agree to disagree” with those who taught a different gospel message. John did not “agree to disagree” with false prophets. Peter did not “agree to disagree” with false teachers. Jude did not “agree to disagree” with ungodly men.

Learn how to speak the truth in love. The obvious issue being what if my understanding of the truth is not your understanding of the truth?

Is that what Paul was getting at when he wrote, Welcome people who are weak in faith, but don’t get into an argument over differences of opinion. Some people believe that they can eat all kinds of food. Other people with weak faith believe that they can eat only vegetables. People who eat all foods should not despise people who eat only vegetables. In the same way, the vegetarians should not criticize people who eat all foods, because God has accepted those people. Romans 14:1-3

If you’ve read a lot of Paul’s writings you know that he was not encouraging us overlook important biblical issues just to get along or to avoid a quarrel.  We are to stand firm on topics like the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ or Jesus was not just a great man but He was God in the flesh to just get along. He was telling us to get along with those who thought differently than us regarding non-salvational issues such as holy days and food. In these cases, Paul, Jesus, and other New Testament writers were quite clear. Additionally, agreeing to disagree is not equivalent to passively overlooking injustice or obvious moral wrongs.

The key to religious unity and agreement is for all to stay true to the scriptures. Time and time again the Bible tells us not to “add to” or “take away” from God’s word (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Galatians 1:8-9; Revelation 22:18-19). The various opinions of men will not provide unity. The Bible must be the sole basis for achieving true agreement. We must allow the scriptures to have the final say and we must be ready to abandon anything we believe which does not agree with God’s word. We cannot simply “agree to disagree” when it comes to matters of faith. We must “agree to agree” with the Bible.

It is also possible to love God and love people even while disagreeing.

The Bad-mouther

Proverbs 6:12-19 (ESV) 12 A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, 13 winks with his eyes, signals[a] with his feet, points with his finger, 14 with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; 15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. 16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
 
The bad-mouther is a person who says something nasty about nearly everyone at the office, the member of your extended family who insults everyone in your family, or the guy in your local church who capitalizes on every opportunity to share how stupid, inept, and hypocritical another Christian is in your church or another one. The sad thing is that some of these are Christians
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How do these people get away with it? What is it about the strategy of bringing others down that works?
 
1) Because sometimes we get unwillingly involved in gossip because we don’t want to hurt feelings, say no, and decline the unsolicited information. When someone wants to gossip to you or in your presence: change the subject or just say you are sorry but you would rather not listen or talk about someone who is not present. It’s just a rule you set for yourself. You are encouraging another to sin. If the gossiper did not have you listening, he would not be gossiping. “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
 
2) People love gossip, whether it is true or not. “The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
 
3) It leads to success if allowed to happen and/or continue. This is a way of creating fear in others at work, church and/or in the family. If a person has “TAKEN DOWN” people by sowing discord or gossip then they create fear from others in their circle. Others have seen what chaos this bad-mouther caused for someone else and they do not want it to happen to them so they give in to whatever the bad-mouther wants.
 
4) They plant bad seeds in your mind about the person they are talking about. You can’t forget it. It may or may not be true, but regardless, it could cause you to treat someone unfairly or love him less. Assumptions and reading into things with the person you heard gossip about begins to grow the seed planted when you listened.
 
5) Because what they are saying is truth. Truthful gossip is a way to distract you that it is still a sin. Unjust violation of the good reputation of another by revealing something true about him is wrong. We have no right to spread information that ruins something so precious as a good reputation unless it is necessary as in defense of self or of others. It would be great if we all focused on mastering ourselves, rather than wasting time gossiping, passing judgment, and betraying people behind their backs.
 
I leave you with these 3 quotes:
 
“What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth.” ~ Jewish Proverb
 
“Do not repeat anything you will not sign your name to.” ~ Author Unknown
 
1 Thessalonians 4:11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.

DNA Testing

Genesis 1:27 NIV So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

I find it odd the number of people who have decided to try DNA testing to better understand their genealogy. I have several of my friends who have bought one or joined one of the many DNA programs. They have encouraged me to do the same. They appear excited about the information they have received and some sharing the results as if they are the gospel truth.

Those of you who know me, know that I am a curious soul, so I decided to check it out. My first stop was what is definition of DNA.

DNA Definition: deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information.

OK so that definition almost was enough to make me quit my search and this post, however I pressed on.

My next search was to find out how many different companies offer DNA testing. You could count the major players on one hand. As I began to research each company, the description and terminology were just as confusing. Get this one for this purpose and that one for another purpose. One provided a service that others didn’t while another one explained the reasons why their test was better.

Confused still, I began to read articles that explained the differences for you. Nothing about this search proved to simplify DNA testing for me, however one quote stuck with me from one of the articles I read. “each of the major three vendors provide an ethnicity estimate based on your autosomal DNA test, and each of the three vendors will provide you with a different result. Yep, same person, different ethnicity breakdowns.” 3 test with 3 different results? Really? One writer said he recommended you take every test out and go with the most common results.

Before researching the DNA testing I thought it might be fun to see what the results would be. After doing the research and investigating it a little further, I now believe that it could be just as factual to let someone read my palm or play the childhood game called the paper fortune teller. Check it out here: http://youtu.be/WpsmrQdN0Do

The Holy Spirit brought me back to today’s scripture and reminded me where I came from. It was free of charge and the Bible is 100% accurate. No need to swab my mouth or send in a hair strand. I may not be able to fill all the leafs on my tree but I know they began with Adam and Eve.

Now don’t take this as a slam to DNA testing. I Simply wanted you to be encouraged. Whether you take a DNA or not, you can be proud of your beginning. God created the first man and woman and we all start there. God loved them so much and He loves you too.

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A Ruth Kind of Loyalty

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Ruth 1:16-17 ESV But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

Webster Dictionary Defines loyal as:
1 : unswerving in allegiance: such as
a : faithful in allegiance to one’s lawful sovereign or government were loyal to the king
b : faithful to a private person to whom faithfulness is due a loyal husband
c : faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product a loyal churchgoer

I wonder how many of us can say we are a loyal person. How do we determine what or to whom we are loyal? Are we loyal to the USA? Are we loyal to our president? Are we loyal to our families; spouses, children, grandchildren, sisters and brothers? Are we loyal to our churches and pastors? Are we loyal to our friends, co-workers and bosses? Some of you are answering the questions, yes, yes, no, maybe, or sometimes to the above questions.

Why is it so hard to be loyal? I mean Ruth kind of loyal? In this scripture Naomi falls on hard times, really hard times. She encourages both of her daughter-n-laws to return home to their family, where life will be easier for them. Ruth 1:14 says Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. One left and one stayed. Why?

I love this 60 second video about loyalty. This is another example of how being loyal is hard and leaving is easy. https://www.passiton.com/loyalty A loyal person is there when times are good and times are bad. A loyal friend is there even when you tell them to go away. A loyal friend is the one who sticks around when everyone else leaves you hanging because it easier to run away.

Loyalty is one of the most powerful forces within the human heart. The truth is, every human being has loyalties. Our highest loyalties are revealed when we are squeezed into a decision that favors one loyalty and harms another.

Our main loyalty should be to Christ, but we are to also be loyal to others. It is great to know that we can always count on God. He is always loyal to us. But it is also wonderful to be around people that you can count on too. God wants us to be people that others can count on. He wants us to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God by putting God first and being someone that others can count on.

Maybe you have been left high and dry by family, co-workers or friends when tough times came. Maybe you are in the mist of the hurt that came from a betrayal, or disloyalty by someone you trusted to always be there. If you are, remember that you can count on God to always be there even when others leave you. Forgive that person and ask God to help you to move on. Maybe you are in a situation right now where you are trying to decide to run or stay…with your spouse, your family, your church, your job or your friends. Stop and pray. Running is easy, just like in the video, staying can be hard BUT God promises to bless us when we do what is right.

Evaluate your loyalty to God and others today. If you are not one to stand firm in times of trouble and you are a runner, ask God to help you to become a trustworthy and loyal person. If you are not loyal to God by reading his word, attending church, praying, or fellowshipping with other believers then ask God to work on your heart and help you to become more loyal to Him today. I believe if you can be loyal to God whom you can not see then you can be loyal to those whom you can see.

I will end with the quote from Ellen J. Barrier: Loyalty is a characteristic trait. Those who have it, give it free of charge. Go and be loyal to God and others today.