When Ministers Disagree
Q: How can I know the truth when ministers disagree?
A: It can tend to be confusing trying to understand how, with one Lord and one Bible, we can come up so many different viewpoints and church groups.
Whenever we see differing views in the Body of Christ, our first responsibility is to look to the wisdom provided in Romans 12:3-5, 9-10: “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.... Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
These verses help us to see the how the Body of Christ is made up and functions. The Body of Christ is made up of individual believers who each have a unique place in God’s plan. If there’s one thing we know about any time a group of individuals comes together, it’s that there will be many different views and opinions represented. That can be the opportunity for strife. But we are instructed to focus on the unity we have in Christ, and make the choice to maintain brotherly love as we honor and prefer one another.
But what do you do when those different perspectives and viewpoints are represented among those who are ministering to you? Brother Copeland has given us the following instructions for how to develop a godly position on any subject or event:
- Study to show yourself approved (2 Timothy 2:15).
- Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to the truth (John 16:13).
- Make it a point to recognize those subjects that have no effect on your salvation or your ability to receive the blessings of the Lord in this life, and give those subjects only the attention they deserve (2 Timothy 2:16, 23).
- Stay in love. Avoid debates that lead to strife (Matthew 22:36-40; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Philippians 2:3; James 3:16).
- Choose to recognize and appreciate the important role individual believers and ministers have in the Body of Christ—even if they present a different view on a particular subject or event (Romans 12:3-10; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; 1 Corinthians 12).
As you fellowship with the Lord, the Holy Spirit will lead you toward the truth, and that truth will bring freedom and victory!
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