Is it biblical for Christians to agree to disagree? That depends. When writing to the Corinthian Church regarding issues that were divisive, the Apostle Paul discouraged fellow believers from criticizing or condemning each other and instead, encouraged them to “live at peace with everyone, as much as possible” (Rom. 12:18). That sounds an awful lot like agreeing to disagree. But was Paul saying that we should overlook all differences, even when the subject matter is consequential?
That the early Christians struggled to understand and live out the gospel is an understatement. They were without podcasts, online sermons, trained pastors, or any of the resources that we look to when we need help figuring out where we stand, especially on polemic topics. They did have each other, the Holy Spirit, and Paul’s letters. Like us, sometimes that was not enough to prevent them from floundering and disagreeing.
I have lived in the greater Boston area for more than 38 years. This region is known for its professional sports teams, lively intellectualism, excellent medical care, and awful winters. We are decidedly north of the Bible belt, which means I do not live in an echo chamber. I have learned to choose my words carefully, listen hard, suppress many opinions, and find ways to engage with folks who (seemingly) have no interest in Jesus.
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