22nd November 2014

Let’s Get Controversial!

“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.”
Philippians 4:2 (NIV) 

In his letter to the Philippian church, Paul encourages two leaders of the congregation, Euodia and Syntyche, to not let their differences of opinion get in the way of their unity in Christ. The world is a complex place and Christians will come to different conclusions on how to resolve significant issues. So Paul reminds us to be “like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose” (Philippians 2:2)

Enough said. Who can disagree with such an admonition?

Well, it all works fine until those differences appear. For example, I personally find wind turbines to be a wonderful example of the engineering genius of humanity. I always admire the innovation of design whenever I see one, whether it is in the town or country. Some reading this may well consider that I have lost my mind! I often hear that wind turbines are a blot on the landscape which should be banned.

Can I remain in one spirit with those who have such a divergence of views? Yes says Paul. Yes we can!

Let’s get really controversial. Should the UK remain in the European Union or not? Now, this can be such an explosive question that I am not going to give my opinion on this. It really can divide friends and family. Can we remain in one spirit? Yes says Paul. Yes we can!

I haven’t even scratched the surface. There are a multitude of “religious” matters that separate the Christian denominations. Matters that people have died for – and others have sought to kill for.

“How good and how pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” declared David, who knew his fair share of division, disunity and dispute (Psalm 133:1). Recently I was impressed with the stated desires of Scottish friends and associates who found themselves on different sides of the Scottish Referendum debate. They declared respect for the opposing view and above all sought reconciliation when all was over. Can we remain in one spirit? Yes says Paul. Yes we can!

“For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore” (Psalm 133:3). We will have divergent views, but let us fulfil our Father’s desires and agree with each other in the Lord – however passionate we get about the argument.

Father, please fill us all w
ith your desire, that whatever the issue, we all agree with one another in the Lord. This requires a spirit which is not natural to us, so please fill our hearts with the unity through your Holy Spirit.

Study by Ian Woodley


ianwoodleyAbout the Author:
Ian Woodley pastors the Nottingham Grace Communion Church, that meets at 2pm Saturday, as below.  Ian also facilitates a monthly Bible Study in Lincoln, which generally meets on a Saturday at 1:30pm.  They welcome visitors to join them—for more details contact Ian Woodley as below.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email:  icgwoodley@gmail.com

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