Agree to Disagree

June 16, 2017 | By More

Originally posted at:

We’ve all seen it. The belligerent smackdowns where Christians take the gloves off with fellow believers over doctrinal, theological, and political differences. Many of them can’t walk away from a fight or “lose.” Instead, some pour coals on an already roaring fire. Others bring in the gasoline trucks.

It’s time to recover the art of “agreeing to disagree.”

The enemy gloats when God’s children are at one another’s throats over their petty disagreements. Forfeiting a relationship over a disagreement effectively dismantles the words of Jesus,

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

That they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me … John 17:23

John Wesley was the first to put the phrase “agree to disagree” in print in the 18th century (applause for John). George Whitefield was his sparring partner, and Wesley attributes the phrase to him. Here’s the quote:

“If you agree with me, well: if not, we can, as Mr. Whitefield used to say, agree to disagree.”

Whitefield used the phrase in a letter as early as June 29, 1750. In light of the doctrinal disagreements between Wesley (an Arminian) and Whitefield (a Calvinist), someone once asked Whitefield if he thought he’d see John Wesley in heaven. Here is Whitefield’s reply:

“I fear not, for he will be so near the eternal throne and we at such a distance, we shall hardly get sight of him.”

Let’s take our cue from Wesley and Whitefield when encountering a disagreement among a fellow believer. Learn the art of agreeing to disagree. When it comes to most doctrinal, theological, and political disagreements, most of those hills aren’t worth dying on.

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Category: General