"Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things." Romans 14:1
"I am right, and everybody else is wrong!" Have you ever met someone with that attitude? Chances are that if you have been in church for any length of time you have. This attitude almost seems infectious within the body of Christ. When I was in college, I remember there were several periodicals published by different people and groups. It seemed that the main purpose of these papers and magazines was to correct the others. Most of the things that they were trying to "correct" were issues that were really not that important. They were spending thousands of dollars on ink and paper over things that didn't matter.
It is so easy to get caught up in this war of words. Why? The simple answer is pride. We never want to admit that we are wrong. Even more, our pride has convinced us that every one should think, believe, and act like we do on every issue. However, wasn't it God that made each of us differently? God doesn't have "cookie-cutter" creations. He gave me my own mind and allowed me to experience things personally that others have not experienced. He has allowed me to have preferences that have shaped who I am and who I am able to reach. Christ is more concerned about what we think of Him than He is about what others think of us. That is a good statement even if I said it myself. If we were to begin living our lives each day with the thought of what does Christ think of our lives, it would revolutionize the body of Christ. Please understand that the fundamental doctrines of God and salvation are non-negotiable. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. What I am speaking of has to do with personal issues that are based on preference and not Scripture.
There was once a time that John returned to Jesus and boasted that they had rebuked a man that was casting out devils but was not part of their group. It seems obvious in the context that John felt that he was doing the right thing. This man wasn't part of his tight-knit circle, so surely he couldn't be doing right. Jesus gave them some advice that we all need to remember: "Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side." My prayer is that God's people will unify under the banner of Jesus Christ. Truthfully, it is not just my prayer. It was Jesus' prayer for us as well. Take some time to read John 17.
May you learn to live in perfect peace with your brothers and sisters in Christ!