Monday, 26 October 2020
Disagreeing the right way
Is it possible to stand on principle, and at the same time, honor those with whom we have differences? I want to propose that the Bible teaches "yes and amen" to that. First, why is this even a question? These days, every level of society this seems to have lost this concept. Our government leaders think nothing of disrespecting one another. School teachers and administrators are openly defied and disrespected by parents and students. Our police and first responders are not respected. Even our own rabbis and pastors are being disrespected. This is not God's plan. This is not God's order.
Asher Intrater makes the case for respect at every level and in every instance in his book "All Authority." No matter how severe the disagreement, we are commanded to always show respect. This is valuable because God is the creator. When we disrespect His creation (including the people He created and put in authority) we are disrespecting Him.
Not every disagreement rises to the level of needing to sever relationship. Most disagreements fall short of the "nuclear option." In every case, we (who are ambassadors for the Messiah) must offer a path to repentance, and be ready to take that path ourselves, when necessary.
God is the God of covenant and of covenant relationships. When we honor covenant, we honor God. 1 Peter 2:17a "Honor all people." So then, it is possible to be right and wrong at the same time. Let me give you a "for instance." Suppose we catch someone in a transgression. We can make a public announcement, "That's wrong," or we can go to the person according to Matthew 18.
Matthew 18:15 "Now if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault while you're with him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother."
This is only the first step in a 3 step process. Yet, how seldom do we find God's kingdom plan followed? In carpentry, the saying is "measure twice, cut once." In relationships, we should think twice and speak privately once. Such a blessing to have the wisdom of God recorded in His Word for us to read any old time.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,