“That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:6, KJV 1900)
Have you ever come to an impasse in a discussion with another who had a differing opinion from you? I had one early on in my military service with a commanding officer. We had an inspection coming and he asked me if I had personally inspected every tank in my platoon. I told him that I had delegated this duty to my platoon sergeant and did some spot-checking. He then scolded me for not personally checking every one of the hundreds of inspection points on each of my six main battle tanks.
Well, we got into a discussion of why delegation was important in leadership. He disagreed and, of course, I lost the argument, not because I was wrong, but because he was the boss. I went to the motor-pool and personally inspected every vehicle. I found nothing wrong with any of them, all of my NCOs had done their job properly.
Well, in the argument about the merits of delegation and empowerment in leadership, we were at an impasse. Moreover, I lost that argument. Yet, he did not win either for in my own heart, I still disagreed with him. I just condescended to his opinion. We never were of the same mind and this core disagreement ultimately resulted in an efficiency report that preempted my military career.
The problem was that we were not of the same mind and could not “agree to disagree.” This same problem exists in Christendom today over certain disputable areas. I have mentioned these before. These are things like eating and drinking, and esteeming certain days over others. There are also many other areas of dispute. The problem is that endless disputing in these areas does not bring harmony in the church and such disharmony does not bring praise and glory to God.
Somehow, rather than seeking to please ourselves, we must “agree to disagree.” A failure to do so can preempt one’s joy in the faith and our ability to praise and glorify God together. Paul concludes with this exhortation. “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7, KJV 1900) Here, the word “receive” refers to an advantageous taking hold of something. In this case it refers to believers of differing opinions on disputable areas taking hold of one another for mutual benefit. This taking hold of the other, “agreeing to disagree,” in disputable areas, will bring glory to God.