Friday, February 23, 2007


I had lunch with new preacher friend this week. I thought we were getting together to build stronger ties. Instead, it was a time of stern debate over the instrumental music question among our tribe. Each shared strong convictions. He stabbed my heart and I insulted his. It could be regarded as a bad day at the rock. I choose to believe that eventhough the meeting was not what I thought, it will be used to build stronger ties.

I feel strange about this subject. I am at an a cappella church and so love such a preference. I'm for letting those who want to do otherwise follow their convictions. Yet, I am treated for approving of the others as if I use the instruments in my worship zone.

Now here's the purpose of this article. We must not let anything pressure us into developing hatred for anyone. I love this new friend....really. I think he's wrong; not sorta wrong or kinda wrong. I think he's wrong about his position. He thinks I'm wrong. He forcefully explained why. If either of us chooses to allow hatred and bitterness to enter our spirits due to this disagreement, I guarantee you THAT IS WRONG.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. This passage should shake the Churches of Christ. If we parade Acts 2:38 to be baptized; yet, cannot give the Holy Spirit room to help us love our brothers and our enemies then we aren't born of God regardless of how much we recite the book of Acts. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Stances of disagreement have always been flaunted. If any of them cause hatred in anyone the show is over for the one who allows this to develop within his heart. Repentance must take place. Hell will be populated by church leaders who did get the correct answer to the theological question, but allowed a bitter and hateful spirit to enter their hearts. I must watch myself on this one! The one with the right stance can be ever so much more wrong if they hold their view with contempt for another. Luke 18:9ff should help us disagree without going over the edge emotionally into the abyss of being lost because we had our doctrine right; yet, despised a brother because we believed him too ignorant to see as clearly.


Terry Rush said...

Wowie! That's a good article!

WMC said...

Wowie! That IS a good article!

Shawn said...

Great post Rush, you have really hit the nail on the head here. I love it that you focused on the point of giving us the room and the right to disagree. That is a sign of a healthy relationship, one that can disagree and still extend and demonstrate fiathful love.
Come on, admit it, this one came from Sweet Mary!
I love you my brother


Danna said...

Wowie! That really IS a good article!!!

Brenda said...

This is not a good article at all!

It is an absolutely, without a doubt an incredibly GREAT article!!

Greg said...

TR: Love your heart. When we can give one another room to disagree, incredible relationships can happen.

keith said...

WOOOOOWIIII!!!! That is a superbly goodish article!

Liz Moore said...

Wow!! That just deserves a hearty AMEN!! Great Thoughts!

David U said...

Terry, I think you are dead on. I don't remember too many sermons coming out of I John when I was growing up......we were too busy trying to "restore" the church. Where is that command by the way? :)

The way we treat others is more important than the positions we hold about traditions.

Your brother,
David U

Jeanne said...

Wow! Now, that IS a good post! I’ve had thoughts similar to this running through my head also! I’ve been focusing on the fact that Christ never called us to be “right” about everything, but He did call us to be righteous! When I get caught up in having to be “right” about some issue or topic, rarely am I being righteous. It’s such a campaign with me right now that when my students at school argue about something I begin the question, “Is it better to be …” and they finish it for me, “right or righteous?” I’m sorry to say we adults have just as much if not more trouble with that concept than children do!

john dobbs said...

This is never easy. We are passionate believers. Disagreements mean that someone is wrong. We feel the need to make our case. Lines are drawn. Chips are knocked off of shoulders. Long lasting resentments set in. And hell is immanent, as you said.

Love is not easy. This is how we know what love is ... Jesus Christ laid down his life for sinners. There is much more to contemplate here, brother. Thank you for pointing in this direction.

Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

This was worth reading a second time.
thanks for posting it.

Bobby Valentine

Cindy said...

I enjoy reading your blog. You are so honest. :-)

I can understand your wanting to hold on to your church traditions.

I was raised in a Lutheran church and I really miss our church traditions, familiar liturgy, and music. I miss communion on Sundays and even the old green hymnals.

When we moved to Tulsa a couple years ago, I didn’t know it would be so difficult to find a Lutheran church.

I never thought I would ever attend a Baptist church. Our children started to attend their youth group and soon they were attending church too. At first I was worried and I went to church just to check it out. :-)

Some of the worship is way outside my comfort zone. I am still trying to adjust and make myself let go of what I feel is the right way to worship.

Good luck with your struggles with change within your church.

Carrie said...

That would be a GREAT sermon Terry!

Anonymous said...


"Right Heart. Wrong Doctrine. Saved?" that would be something I would be interested in your thoughts on...