WE ALL DISAGREE AT TIMES!
Last week we saw that some in the church wanted to make the Gentiles follow all the Jewish laws before they could truly become Christians. It was such an important problem that was brewing that Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to get answers to this question. We read that after several of the apostles talked before the council, it was agreed the Gentile Christians should not be required to do all the Jewish laws and customs that never truly saved anyone.
Now this week we see a more personal disagreement occurred. Barnabas wanted John to go with him and Paul on the next mission trip, but Paul disagreed. Paul reminded Barnabas that John had deserted them on an earlier mission trip. In Acts 13:13 we read that it says “From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.” Obviously, Paul did not want John to leave when he did. There was still a lot to do that he could have helped Paul and Barnabas with, but John decided to go home. Paul did not trust John anymore, so he did not want him to go with them again. Barnabas clearly believed John deserved another chance, however, so clearly Paul and Barnabas agreed to disagree. They each went on different trips instead of continuing to work together. Barnabas took John and headed for Cyprus; Paul took Silas and headed for Syria and Cilicia.
Last week when a disagreement arose within the church, it seems they all came to an agreement on what to do, but on this occasion, it was more personal. Paul would not give in, knowing they needed people that could be trusted. But Barnabas was obviously convinced John would work with them okay. Clearly everyone of us has times when we feel strongly about what we believe to the point we are hard pressed to change our minds, just like Paul and Barnabas. Then there are other times we realize things can and should be worked out just like with the church at Jerusalem.
As we see, even as much as the early church was in tune with the Holy Spirit’s leading, there can and will be times not everyone will agree on everything. And clearly that is alright. We as the church should, when we do not agree, be willing to disagree without being disagreeable. God is calling for his church to be unified as often as possible. In fact, as we read in Romans 12:18, we are encouraged to “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
As we saw earlier in chapter 15, disagreements will occur, even when everyone is trying hard to do the right thing. The question is: how do we deal with disagreements, whether it is at church, at work, at home or with our friends? Things will happen at times that will bring about conflicts. How we deal with them will show just how well we are allowing the Lord to guide us through these tricky times in life.
There is a Christian song I remember from back in the 80’s that gave a godly option that we should at times use to work through disagreements. The chorus of this song was, “Quiet please, too much has already been said, just let it be, learn to listen instead. For sometimes through the silence, big problems become small. If you cannot find something nice to say, say nothing at all.”
Clearly Paul and Barnabas did not argue and fuss over their disagreement. They found a way, God’s way, to disagree, but yet move on still working for the common goal of reaching different places with God’s word.
May each of us look at ways to first of all limit our disagreements, but when that is not possible, may we allow the Lord to show us ways to disagree yet still work together with the ones we may disagree with, whether it be at church, at home, at work, or wherever it might be. God will always provide a way to work through conflicts if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. We simply must have an open heart and an open mind, just like Paul and Barnabas did.
Our Mission Statement:
Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.
Sundays: Sunday School 9:00; Worship 10:00 Please social distance and wear masks. We continue carrying our worship on facebook live and have found that it reaches many people beyond our congregation.
Every Tuesday at 9:30 is Bible Study. The group is beginning a study of the book of Acts. Larry Solomon is leading the study. All interested persons are invited to attend.
The first Sunday of every month is designated for Food Bank donations. Suggested donations are boxes of cereal and prepared foods. Also peanut butter and jelly.
Wednesday, Sept 9 Church board meeting: Executive Committee at 6:15, Commissions at 7:00, board at 7:30 pm
To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:
District: iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link)
Our pages: cerrogordocob.com (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook
Keep in Your Prayers
Evelyn Eads; Mike Gentry; Anna Gentry Thompson; Junior and Evelyn Traxler; Larry Cripe; Arnold Schultz; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Liam Martina; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Gary Jesse; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo Hanaver; Zola Copeland and family; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 180,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
Poetry Corner—submitted by Robin Shively
The Perfect Church
I think that I shall never see
A church that’s all it ought to be;
A church whose members never stray
Beyond the straight and narrow way;
A church that has no empty pews
Whose preacher never has the blues;
A church whose deacons always “deak”
And none is proud and all are meek;
Where gossips never peddle lies
Or make complaints or criticize;
Where all are always sweet and kind
And all to others’ faults are blind.
Such perfect churches there may be,
But none of them are known to me.
But still we’ll work and pray and plan
To make this one the best we can.