Compromise: Needful, Normal, or just a negative word?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Relational Participatory Christianity : One Thread
It's Monday, and time for a new Monday thread....
Let's begin with a question:
How can believers all over the world walk in the Truth of the Oneness of the Body when so many little divisions spring up in the smaller gathering of believers? In other words, what can we do to walk in the reality of the Oneness of the Body without compromising? We often here about not compromising our faith with the world, but sometimes we need to compromise with brothers and sisters in order to walk in the Spirit. Would someone like to share some thoughts on the importance of compromise?
I'd love to hear your views. Thanks, Stephanie
-- Stephanie Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 15, 2000
Good question. Here are some of my thoughts.
1. What do we mean by compromise?
Is fellowshipping in a small group with someone who believes differently compromise? I don't think so. The issue is do I have to change my beliefs to fellowship with someone who sees differently.
For example, one I have mentioned before. God seems to put us with people that views woman's roles different than we do. Our first experience was in a small group where one of the wives was very strong about a woman not "teaching".
There wasn't a problem with speaking, as when we fellowshipped all were free to share. But if someone gave a structured talk or presentation she would have a problem. Of course to us - she was always "teaching" that women shouldn't teach. :-) But to here she was *sharing* not teaching.
So bottom line, the situation never arose where the divergence in views actually caused us to violate our beliefs. We were all free to share and discuss the scriptures. Everyone spoke. Penny never really wanted to give some 3 point structured sermon, so there was no problem.
Was there a problem? Were we compromising? I don't think so. We were all open about how we felt and we accepted one another.
I think this could be part of the issue involved.
2. What issues are majorly important
In my view of reality I think there are some truths that are more important than others.
Central truths about Christ, and who he is.
Not so central truths about various items
what holidays or days should we celebrate or should we celebrat e any days at all.
I think the point is clear. I think this should factor into our thinking on this subject as well.
-- Barry Steinman (email@example.com), May 16, 2000.
greetings Steph, Barry and others,
another interesting question. I remember when we first started gathering with those who had left the traditional church. It was refreshing to gather with people from soo many backgrounds. Some of the walls had to go for us to fellowship with each other. I don't know if compromise is the right word. But then again maybe it is. You can tell this is going to be profound already can't you :).
Compromise seems to center on that which we must give up to fellowship with each other. It seems to me most of the church is divided over secondary doctorinal issues. eg. how we have communion etc... In many churches there is a list of *what we believe & how we worship here* to avoid any divisions. It does seem to keep the divisions in their groups to a minumum but does it really allow the Lord to be their head in their midst? It also greatly limits those whom you can fellowship with.
Wherever there is freedom there is the potential for abuse. In fact Paul said that divisions must arise among you to show those who are approved by God 1Cor.11:18,19. The easy way is to say this is the way we do it here and that is that. It seems God's way is for us to work through the problems as a body holding Him as it's head.
There were very few limitations given to the gentile church by the apostles (Acts.15. They were to refrain from immorality, keep from eating food offered to idols and refrain from meat strangled and blood. No emphasis on communion how to gather etc... There was a tremendous freedom to experience the Lord among them.
Since there are so many *lenses* with which we behold our Lord we need to be sensitive to one another. endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Personally there are only a few things that are grounds where I cannot fellowship around. Those that don't hold to the deity of Christ. A group where the environment is controlled either by secondary doctorinal issues or by an individual regardless of whether there is a title or not. And any kind of concensus given to immorality.
Other than these few issues there is plenty of room for compromise and working out all the minor differences in our relationships. In fact I must say diffences can be a very healthy sign and opportunity for growth if we will accept, love and forgive each other.
-- Ken Matheson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2000.
I just invited Nancy Dobson to participate. Perhaps we will hear from her soon. She is a dear sister, full of the light of our Lord!
Ken, I can really relate to what you wrote about each of us having a different lense through which we see our Lord. There is much need for sensitivity.
Bless you all! Carry on! In Jesus, Steph
-- Stephanie Bennett (email@example.com), June 06, 2000.