Sunday, September 25, 2011

Love covers a multitude of disagreements

Today we plan to do something we haven't done in quite a while:  attend a worship service.  There is a little building across the street from us and the believers there have demonstrated the love of Christ to us in ways we did not expect.  We have always been somewhat involved in fellowship with them.  Their pastor is a man I highly respect, admire and is worthy of imitation in his manner of life in many ways.  Their congregation is small and their love for one another is very evident.  To top it off many of them live in the same community as we do. I see great potential for building relationships in Christ.  In response to the love they have shown us in helping to provide things we need to aid with coping with Chloe's disability, this will be our way of saying thank you and we love you too.

On top of that I also plan to attend a corporate gathering of a different sort tomorrow evening.  I have been invited on numerous occasions to come and have had other pressing matters to attend to.  Today could be the day.  Some of the brothers there have reached out to me and my family in an abundance of ways.  One family brought us dinner on Friday night after we cancelled our dinner appointment with them on account of some issues with Chloe.  Since then, we have re-scheduled our dinner with them for Monday.  I'm really looking forward to it.

All this has me thinking about following God's leading and being unified with every other believer, even those we have disagreements with.  So we will walk in obedience.  In some ways it almost feels like were selling out to go back and be in an institutional setting.  I have mixed emotions about it but I believe it is what the Lord is doing right now.  One thing I am learning is that the Lord does not want me to have everything my way.  He want to have it all His way.  Even if I think I know what His way is and I make my desires match that it does not give me the right to be divisive with those who do not see the same things.  When it all boils down everyone is doing what they believe is honoring and pleasing to the Lord and in that we have unity.  Just as we cannot love the lost by stiff-arming them and separating from them, we cannot love our brothers and sisters within the institutional church without being close to them.

This quote by T. Austin-Sparks is fitting:

There may be misapprehension, there may be ignorance, there may be other causes, but this which offends us is, on the part of those concerned, their way of showing their love for the Lord, and we must not be turned aside - we must get close to them and find what possibilities there are for the Lord. He is going on, He is not giving up; He is making all He possibly can of the least bit of heart love for Himself and for all men. The challenge of this is very practical and very searching for us.
By T. Austin-Sparks from: Abounding in Love


  1. Very well put, Bobby. I can identify with your feelings. Blessings.

  2. I get all of that. We have been going to a small, very close knit group that meets in a building and I sometimes feel like I am doing something wrong!

  3. Great post! Even within one's own worship setting, there is the struggle of not separating from the body over disagreements... and unfortuantely there are oh so many things to disagree on that have nothing to do with the structure of the gathering. For us personally, although we believe that meeting in homes and doing away with the regimented, hierarchical structure of the institutional gathering to be biblical, we still like to visit various brick & mortar churches when we get a chance. I hope you and your family had a blessed time with the body of believers... wherever they meet!:-) In Christ, Talya

  4. Thanks for the comments. It's good to know I'm not the only one struggling through these tensions.


As in a biblical church gathering, my word is not complete or final. Participation is allowed, encouraged and expected. Please, don't leave without adding something.