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.