Pastor Bob’s Blog

Our Prayer for America

Dear Heavenly Father,
We humble our hearts in Your presence and ask that you turn Your ear to our desperate cries.  We acknowledge that regardless of the chaos surrounding us here in this temporary home, You are in control and Your plan will prevail.  We cast all our cares upon You, for You care for us.  Oh Father, do not withdraw Your hand from Your sinful people. 


Can We Ever Agree to Disagree…..?

I’ve discovered that blogging is not something that comes easy for me. Thinking about things to blog about seems to be my biggest hurtle. That’s because I think blogs are meant to reflect ones sincerest thoughts/beliefs about whatever topic is on the table. But I’ve discovered over the past few years that sharing ones sincere views about issues can get you in trouble. And that’s because too many of us seem to have lost the ability – or the desire – to agree to disagree on certain subjects. If my views don’t align with yours, then one of us must be wrong, right? Not necessarily. The fact is, there are often two (maybe more) sides to a great majority of the divisive issues of our day. What are some of those issues: immigration reform, same-sex marriage, equal rights for those in the GLBT community, abortion rights, capital punishment, fair & equal distribution of wealth, affordable health care, separation of church & state, gun rights, higher minimum wage, how to combat terrorism – and I’m sure there are more.

These are important issues – issues that continue to be debated in the halls of congress, in the halls of state & city councils, in the halls of our local churches, in the hallways of our own homes. They are also issues that basically divide our nation – right from left, Republican from Democrat, conservative from liberal. Unfortunately the tone of some of these hallway debates often go beyond simple disagreements. Sometimes, they are down-right unGodly, unChrist-like. For some, your stand on these subjects can determine whether or not you’re a child of God or a child of Satan. And that’s not right, as far as I’m concerned. These are issues upon which we need to learn how to agree to disagree. Why is that so hard for some to do? I really don’t know.

But this I do know. As a local pastor, if I shared my true thoughts about some (maybe all) of these issues, there are folks in my church who would begin to question my Christian faith. And I guess that’s the most irritating part of this whole conversation. For it’s my conviction that regardless of what you think about these subjects, you’re still right with God – you can continue to walk in His light. I guess this is why I find it difficult to be a regular blogger. I have thoughts and views on all these issues. My views probably won’t line up with some of yours. So what? Again, why can’t we agree to disagree?

“Well, Preacher, is there anything we CAN agree on,” some of you may ask. You bet ‘cha. We’re called to love God with all that we are; and our neighbor as ourselves. I believe that God created the universe – everything that is seen and unseen. God sent his Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus died on the Cross and rose again for my sins and for the salvation of all humankind – past, present and future. Jesus did not come to condemn THE WORLD but to SAVE IT. There is a life – of some kind – after this life. And maybe the words of 2 Timothy 3:16, should find full acceptance: “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work” (RSV). Oh, and the 10 Commandments – shouldn’t be too much to disagree on these timeless laws.
Are there other things in the Bible we should all be able to agree on? Probably so. But I know there are just as many issues about which we will just have to agree to disagree, but then walk away still respecting – still loving each other, still willing to be friends, and still right with God. These are beliefs, statements of faith, that I find little room for disagreement among my Christian brothers & sisters. There are a few, but not many. I appreciate so what our founding father, John Wesley, had to say about controversies in the Church: “Except for the basics, we think and let think.” In other words, we can agree to disagree. You think we can do that? I hope so.

Your friend in Christ,