August 24, 2005
Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
How many times have you experienced church conflict? I’ve been witness to it before, and have even received letters from people saying, “The Easter holiday came out of old fertility rites. And that stuff about the bunny and egg—it’s just a pagan form of worship. Christians should never be involved!”
At the same time, I’ve received letters saying, “Easter is my favorite time of year because it’s an opportunity to exalt my risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Easter morning services and the worship time. Thank God for Easter!”
So, who’s right and who’s wrong? Outright sin is condemned in Scripture—no question about that. But there are certain issues, attitudes, and beliefs that are neither approved nor condemned in Scripture that can destroy the harmony and health of a body of believers.
In the church, the devil’s chief weapon is division. He loves to cause conflict among believers over non-essential issues. I’ve heard of churches dividing over applause during worship service, proper attire, music, or a painting hanging in the hallway of the building. When this happens, Satan gets his way once again.
Augustine, a great Christian of yesteryear said, “In essentials unity. In non-essentials liberty. In all things charity.” We must learn to let the non-essentials go, focus on the truths of God’s Word, and learn to unify with our brothers and sisters in Christ over the things that really matter.
STOP CONFLICT BEFORE IT STARTS! NON-ESSENTIAL ISSUES ARE
NOT FUNDAMENTAL TO THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST OR DOCTRINE OF TRUTH.