Although some have said that I cannot handle ‘dissenting viewpoints’ on my blog, the truth is that I hold diversity up very highly. I dream of a church where I can be sitting next to someone with whom I disagree with theologically, but with whom I can worship the same God and still love each other. I don’t know when we’ll be able to get to this point, but that is my hope.
But this raises a question for me. When we encounter and know of people that we disagree theologically with on certain issues (whether they be women in ministry, homosexuality, abortion, end times prophecies, etc.), our first response it *generally* to think “Well, frick. I’m right, and they’re wrong…HELLO! WAKE UP!” Once we get past this stage, there are generally statements like, “Well, I know so-and-so is a good Christian who loves God, but they’re just a bit distracted by this certain issue right now” or “Well, it’s okay that we don’t agree, let’s just agree to disagree and love God with them.”
But, is there a point where that attitude is not helpful, not right, and not honoring to Jesus?
Take the issue of women in ministry for example. I fully and wholeheartedly believe that women are created exactly equal with men, and that women can hold any office in the church that a man can. There is no difference in Christ – a woman can be a senior pastor, deacon, elder, executive pastor, etc. I know many lovely Christians who disagree with a statement like this. So, for most people, we are of the opinion that diversity in the body of Christ is a good thing, and we need to be understanding of their differing theological viewpoint on this issue.
But, at what point do we stop and say…No. This is NOT right. While they may honestly love God and have come to this conclusion through prayer, etc., at what point do we say, “This viewpoint is holding members of the family of God under bondage. This view restricts the use of God-given gifts. This view hurts. This view brings about bondage. This view brings about hurt…this view, plainly, pisses God off.”
Is there a breaking point, where we have to move past simply agreeing to disagree and say, “Okay, I love you, I know God loves you, but…you know…you’re simply wrong here.” This doesn’t necessarily help dialogue (which I am a big proponent of), but since when is dialogue the END we are always shooting for.
Similarly, when will we see that some people’s attitudes towards homosexuals (often springing from their interpretation of OT levitical laws) are hurtful, degrading, homophobic (even if they say they’re not) and on the same plane as racism and bigotry. When do we come upon the breaking point – where we have to say, No. This is NOT right. This is not of God.
Where is the breaking point?