Something I really enjoy is an engaging debate or conversations where people can share ideas, even competing ones, and enrich each other in the process. I am an egghead and I love considering other ideas. Even one's that I disagree with. I like to ask why do they think this view is legitimate? Why do they disagree with me? Is there something I hadn't thought about? How does this fit into my worldview? How does this affect my preaching?
After all preaching has some kind of bias behind it and effective preaching instills a mental conversation between you and me. The purpose of preaching is to persuade you to take action on God's word.
I enjoy conversations where opposing views are thrown around becasue many times they challenge my bias, my understanding of God, or what I think is right or wrong. These kind of conversations sharpen my thinking and really get me to take the time to know where I stand on issues. As someone said to me this week, "As iron sharpens iron..."
I know for some people discussing different ideas just makes them mad. They know what they think and they don't want to change what they think. I appreciate that kind of thinking too.
In one conversation I had this week is I learned the church is a place that demands unity, but not uniformity. The church must unite around the message and ministry of Jesus Christ. On this we must be united. But the church is not to be a place of uniformity. Uniformity is when everyone else is like you. They dress like you, they are the same skin color as you, they all have tattoo's or don't have tattoo's, like the same kind of worship music as you, and so on.
What's amzing about the church is not it's uniformity, but it's diversity. In church you will have CEO's sitting with people on welfare. You'll see the straightlaced praying with the ex-con. You'll see people from many different races worshipping God together, proclaiming his name to all.
Our world in contrast, loves to be uniform. Police have a uniform, doctors have a long white coat, ministers have the collar, sports teams have their colors.
The church is not like that. We have the suits and dudes in T-shirts in the same room. What brings us all together?
Unity in Christ. All is level ground at the foot of the cross.
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