Navigating Disagreements

““When the accusers stood up, they began bringing charges against him not of such crimes as I was expecting, but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive.” (Acts 25:18–19, NASB95)

“In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” Augustine

Have you ever been in a debate with someone or an argument, and their solution was, “Let’s just agree to disagree?” Disagreements in this world are inevitable, especially when it comes to matters of faith. Where ever you have people, you will have differences of opinion and disagreements. We all view life through differing perspectives based on a number of diverse lenses, whether it be social, cultural, personal experiences, or even matters of faith. The challenge in a disagreement is to remain open to the possibility that your perception may be wrong and to respond with respect without compromising truth.

Festus was thrust into a religious disagreement between the Jewish leadership and Paul. The Jewish leaders were biased by jealousy and held the perception that Jesus was a liar, that He never rose again, and that His followers were members of a Nazarene sect that opposed Judaism. Paul held to the fact that Jesus did rise from the dead and is the promised Messiah Savior. Festus was called to judge between these two groups, and from his perspective, both the Jews and the Christians were debating about “religious superstitions.” Festus was a Roman who didn’t seem to accept matters of faith at all and only acknowledged logic and reason. Paul’s life was on the line again as he held fast to his faith and refused to compromise the truth. Paul refused to “agree to disagree” but still showed respect.

The world will press in on you and seek to force you to change your perspective in order to get along. Religious cults will challenge the biblical and historical truth of the identity of Jesus with their own superstitious perceptions and prejudices. As a Christ follower, your life will always be on trial, and you will constantly be challenged to debate with those who reject the truth about Jesus and what He has done. May we follow Paul’s example and remain faithful, refusing to compromise our witness and God’s truth. When it comes to matters of salvation and eternal life, may we hold our ground and look for opportunities to reveal the truth about Jesus regardless of the personal cost.

In His Service,
Pastor Cary

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