Monday, June 28, 2010

What is Agreement?

God has so made the human mind that, as soon as people really begin to think, they begin to differ. If, therefore, there is no difference of opinion in a church, it shows that there is no individual thought in that church. Men think alike only by not thinking at all. This is assent, not conviction. Such belief is, in reality, no belief and has no value. The only agreement in opinion that is worth anything is that harmony which comes after full and free inquiry about subjects on which men differ. Only thus can questions really be settled; without such free discussion, differences are only covered up. ~ Dave Miano


What I took away from this quote is that agreement where there has not been the freedom to question is not really agreement.

We see this all the time in American churches. Many congregants believe their positions to be "bullet proof" correct, yet cannot give an account of why they believe this way. It is not a position they came through by their own discoveries and wrestlings, rather it was imparted. And because many churches hold a tacit agreement within the congregation to peaceably hold to these views, it never occurs to the congregants to think that there might be other possibilities.

This also presents a problem in leadership. In 27 years of Christianity, I have heard many Pastors and leaders state something like this:

"I feel such and so about topic X...... but I could never tell my congregation that".

This is the harmony that the author seems to feel is lacking.

As a personal example: I was taught the penal substitutionary view of atonement; not amidst other views and theories... that was the only option. It was not until much later in my Christianity that I learned that many Christian groups have NEVER accepted that view. So, I didn't really "believe" that position... it was simply the only one I had been taught. My agreement with my fellow parishioners on this issue wasn't really agreement, we simply knew no differently.

1 comment:

Don said...

Where no questions are found, ignorance abounds...

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