Diversity as Maturity.

I've been thinking (a dangerous task for an otherwise peaceful Sunday morning, I understand).

I suspect that we can learn a lesson from disagreement: the degree to which we are able to remain in relationship with someone who holds opinions contrary to our own is an indication of the maturity of our relationship. If I can continue to be friends – not an acquaintance: real, genuine, share-your-lives friends – with someone whom you disagree about significant subjects with, that is a sign of maturity in the both of you, an din them.

There are many among us who appear to be compelled to be right in their relationships (or to bee seen as right, which – unbeknownst to them – is NOT the same thing). There are numbers among us people who cannot abide the idea of divergent thought among friends! Free will? Predestination? Grace? Judgment? Pre-trib? Post trib? Sola Scriptura? Revelation? Gay marriage? Abortion?  There are some who seem to think that it is their calling in life to convince others that they are right, and if we’ll only shut up and listen to them, our eyes will be opened and we’ll see the error of our ways and repent from disagreeing with them.

They demonstrate their immaturity.

Jesus Himself is a fine model; let no one say that his choices are the result of immaturity! And yet His best friends, the men with whom He shared every aspect of life while he was on this planet, did not even understand the things He most treasured. One of His best friends so completely disagreed with both His end and his means that he sold Him out for a month’s wages. And yet Jesus – until the very betrayal – was as good a friend to him as to Peter and John.

Consensus about doctrinal issues, or political, social, vocational issues, is not a requirement for mature friendship. Two cannot walk together unless they are agreed, but nobody said there needed to be any more agreement than just agreeing to walk together as friends.

Our unit, we remember, does not come from what we have learned, what we believed, what nation we were born in; our unity comes from our Father: if we are children of the same Father, then we are brothers. If one of us has an agenda ahead of the Father’s agenda, then that other loyalty is the issue, not the fact that we’re somehow, mysteriously, brothers, sons of an amazing Father.