Sometimes We Disagree!
“And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.” (Acts 15:2, NASB95)
Paul and Barnabus were the new kids on the block. Paul was an Apostle born out of his time. Neither of the two men were part of the Jerusalem circle. In Acts 15:2 there was “a great dissension and debate.” Literally, the text says, “not a little uproar.” This big uproar was Paul, the johnny-come-lately Apostle versus Peter, the one given the keys to the Kingdom. Paul confronted Peter and the two debated the issue, coming to a mutually agreed upon conclusion by the end of Acts 15. Even this conclusion, however, did not really change all the minds, it just made for a peaceful situation.
I’m afraid that we’ve moved into a world in which any dissension and debate is seen as sinful. We are pressured to be continual peacemakers, with the understanding that an uproar of any kind would bring more damage than good. We work so hard at being peacemakers that we leave some very real issues unaddressed. The elephant stays silently in the room.
From time to time, we need to face those with whom we disagree. We need to do so with grace, with clarity, and with a desire to spread the Gospel of grace. But we need to do so!
May you go in grace as you go to confront the real issues.
In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White
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