A God Reflection on Cross Church
This is one of seven posts I am bringing back to the light of day from a former series of exploration I titled Cross-Church. You can find more of these posts at GodReflection.org under the heading Gary’s Reflections.
Especially if it is my opinion, right becomes even “righter.”
What if my verbal opponent is wrong, but is certain—beyond a shadow of doubt—to be in the right?
I am a see it, taste it, touch it, believe it sort of a guy. When I conclude something to be true, it moves quickly into the non-negotiable category.
That works fabulously, until I encounter an honest soul who does not agree with my conclusion.
God does not practice “bait and switch.” He is God of Truth. Truth is not relative. Truth does not change. Truth is eternal.
I must remember another facet of eternal truth. God is Peace. God is Unity. That too is truth.
In Galatians 5, I learn the consequence of disrupting peace and unity. For me to understand what the fruits of peace and joy are not, Scripture lists their opposites with these seven descriptors: hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, and factions. These are Satan’s poison gourds.
The list concludes with another truth: “Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
It is not a little thing to declare I am right—standing with truth—and treat a fellow believer in a way that salutes Satan’s poison gourds. In so doing have I not abandoned the truth of God?
Satan loves it when we follow his fallen nature. When I’m right, I know you are wrong. When you declare your rightness—that in fact you believe to be right—I still know I am right.
We argue by presenting our rightness. Since neither of us will give ground to the other, we depart with cold feelings at best and suck the juice from Satan’s gourds at worst. The fellowship goes cold or breaks. In either case, God loses.
There is another way.
It sounds like I am backing away from truth. I am not.
If it sounds like I am trying to avoid drinking juice from Satan’s poison gourds, I am. I want to be in avoidance mode. I want to quit tasting his stash.
There is a way where I win, my opponent wins, and God wins. From a human perspective, it is a weak way out. Yet, it provides a solution to honest disagreement. Dare I even suggest it?
It is the cross.
Instead of looking for proof texts to aim in the direction of my opponent, I have a greater shot at reaching agreement if I look instead to the cross. For it is in the man on the cross I see humility, love, sacrifice, obedience, peace, forgiveness, patience, service, gentleness, and self-control.
He did that so that I can be in fellowship with him.
Is it possible to build a bridge over disagreement by reflecting love, humility, sacrifice, obedience, peace, forgiveness, patience, service, gentleness, and self-control toward the one with whom I am in disagreement?
By looking to the cross instead of to the disagreement, I win, you win, and God wins. We become friends in fellowship for eternity. Not a bad strategy.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection on Cross-Church.