Confronting Disunity: The Road Less Traveled Towards Unity and Truth
12:25AM Sep 2, 2023
And we can confidently say that to abandon truth is to abandon goodness. And is to abandon beauty. And we don't always realize that but that's what we're doing, right? That's right. Ultimately we are, you start banding the truth and somebody's gonna get hurt.
And I want to say this, we're talking about unity and disunity. Ultimately, Unity has to be built, it just has to be built around truth. At the level of these fundamental questions, there just can't be unity apart from it.
Hi, Friends, welcome back to another episode of ideas have consequences the podcast of the disciple nations Alliance, a show where we examine how our mission as Christians is to not only spread the gospel around the world to all the nations. But our mission also includes to be the hands and feet of God to transform the nations to increasingly reflect the truth, goodness and beauty of God's kingdom. Tragically, the church has largely neglected the second part of her mission. And today, most Christians have little influence on their surrounding cultures. Joining us on this podcast as you rediscover what it means for each of us to disciple the nations, and to create Khurana and cultures that reflect the character of the living God.
Welcome again to another episode of ideas have consequences. This is the podcast of the disciple nations Alliance. I'm Scott Allen, and your host today, along with my team members, Dwight Vogt, Darrow Miller, Luke Allen and Tim Williams, guys, great to have you with us today. Good morning.
Great to be here.
We were talking about our topic, this week, we're going to just be doing this as a team here. And the topic that we landed on was the times that we're living in, in the church, especially but in the culture at large here in the West, but not exclusively in the West. I think this is true in countries around the world. And what I'm talking about is is this division or disunity that we're experiencing, and kind of a heightened way in our culture, and in the church. We're going to explore that, you know, what, have we experienced that ourselves? What's going on? Why is there such disunity and and then how do we respond to that as Christians faithfully what do we do when we're in conflict and division with other Christians over over different issues? How do we respond faithfully, I think this is such a really important topic, guys. And so I'm really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this and, and hopefully, sharing with our listeners some things that can really help them to, to handle this in a really faithful way. I just, you know, before we get into it, I just want to, I just want to acknowledge that this is so real, you know, for people right now, this this pain that has calmed from broken relationships. It's there's been a lot of division in churches, churches have split. There's been divisions within families. There's an alienation between parents and children and friends, and you name it, there's just a lot of division right now. And, and I recognize and I want to be sensitive to the fact that people are really in pain, you know, because of that they've had, they've lost friendships and are alienated from people that they love and are close to. Guys How, let me just start with this question. How have you personally experienced this division or this disunity that I think we're really into a heightened season of right now? Have you seen it? In the culture in the church or even experienced it? Who wants to who wants to get us started on that?
What a happy question. A couple of big things that I've noticed, these are more kind of just meta themes, but I think COVID brought out a lot of difficult conversations inside the church, the lock downs and what that look like. So we're just getting out of that here. I think that was a big one that I noticed. That's just that's just one, but saw a lot of churches split over that closed down, grow, you know, just a lot of movement there, right.
There's also a lot of, at least in United States today, and I think if you look at European countries as well, there's a lot of hostility on the political level between political parties, and it's very divisive. And politics or politics, it splits families, it splits communities and that that's very difficult to watch when it becomes personal and a family is split. Because of politics.
Yeah, Derek just adding to that, I think in sports, you know, specifically, you know, goes back to me to 2015 and 16. And that election in the United States, you know, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, there was just that it that really was divisive within the church, because the church had a split response to, to President Trump. And so that and that continues. I mean, that's still a very hot and very divisive topic. So politics is very divisive. And, you know, I would just simply add, you know, that President Trump has been kind of right at the center of that. I think so.
Yeah, I think your 2016 election, for sure. But I think also, one of the first times a lot of churches felt like they needed to address politics in recent years was the Obergefell ruling in 2015. And I think that was one of the first times churches like, you know, felt cornered into we need to address this from the pulpit, instead of just kind of avoiding it. In staying staying hands off.
That too, right, that Obergefell ruling was the ruling of the Supreme Court in the United States that essentially made same sex marriage quote, unquote, the law of the land. And so yeah, that was definitely a threshold moment, if you will, a kind of a key moment. And so yeah, you know, these are really, I mean, we are living in momentous times, guys, we're really, really living in some ways, revolutionary times, there's a moral revolution. There's a kind of a political revolution, these are really momentous times, I'm constantly kind of aware of that fact. So because these are such momentous times, with such significant things happening in our culture. And then of course, COVID, like you said, Luke, I mean, no question. I mean, no reason. No surprise, right? There's so much division, including in the church, Tim and Dwight, what about you guys? How have you seen or experienced this? disunity in the culture of the church? Have you any thoughts or stories, personal stories?
Yeah, thanks, God, I, I think of a couple of families in our church that have left over just the issue of critical theory and a different understanding of what racism is and how racism should be understood and and handled. They've left because there was disagreement, and was severe enough that they had to go, you know, I think of a friend of mine, who has had some relationships that have been seriously strained, over, you could say political issues, but really, it's over, you know, a woman's right to choose. And it's over. What does it mean to affirm your child's gender status? And both of them have said, I've gone with a popular culture. And and, and they're Christians, and what do you do? Well,
it's tense. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. For me, what
comes to mind as I had I, you know, one in particular personal relationship, where I would say there was a you know, there were disagreements about what I would call disputable matters. And it was things that I thought we could we could agree on, but in this particular relationship, my friend didn't see it that way. And over time, the relationship did not continue. There's still love there. You know, I still pray for my friend. But, you know, seeing each other regularly and staying involved in each other's lives, did not continue past that season.
So just a theological theological divide. Really, Tim, is what I'm hearing there. Yeah, that's right. Just over a point of theology. Yeah. That never happens in the church, does it? Yeah, we. Yeah. Well, we can talk certainly about that. I think for me, you know, I just want to underscore two things, you know, COVID Lukey mentioned and I think two things in particular, there were very divisive, you know, the stance of the church towards the the pressure from state and federal officials to, you know, to no longer gather, you know, during that season of shutdown, you know, so, in many states, it was forbidden for churches to gather in person and churches split on that and that became very hot, you know, between churches and pastors, because some decided to the front that was a fundamental issue, and that was an overstepping of the The rightful role of the government isn't authority. And so they, they didn't go along with that, and paid the consequence for that. And others felt like that was putting at risk the lives of people in the congregation setting a bad example for the church. And, and then the same very similar way with vaccines. Right. You know, that was highly divisive. You know, there was people that were saying, you know, if you refuse to get vaccinated, then you're you're violating the first commandment, you know, loving your neighbor. And so it became kind of quickly very divisive. You know, fortunately, I think with COVID, we've kind of got a little bit of a respite from that right now, although I, I have a feeling that we're going to come circling back on that one again. But for me that Dwight, you mentioned critical theory, and just the whole social justice movement, this, and you mentioned both race and sex and gender, the transgender, you know, thing, there's, yeah, there's, that's very good example of friends that you had in the church, who this became very personal, and one of their children maybe came came home and said, Hey, I'm, you know, I'm homosexual, I'm trans. And they chose to affirm that, and that put them at odds with other people in the church. This is very difficult. You know, for me, just a personal story. Had to do more with critical race theory. And this goes back to Dara, you, you remember this very well, it goes back to 2000. I think it was 15. And it was right after the rise of Black Lives Matter, you know, that group first started kind of coming on the scene. And we were looking at that going, Who are these people what's going on. And we were critical of this new movement, even though we didn't know a lot about it, but we were critical for a couple of reasons. One was they weren't speaking out against abortion, which is by far the biggest, you know, destroyer of black lives in the culture, nor were they speaking out about violence. That's pervasive. And the victims of violence in our inner cities are largely black, and they weren't speaking out against that they were very narrowly focused on highly divisive kind of racial issues relating to whites and blacks. So we spoke out against that in one of our blogs. Darrell a you specifically wrote, and, and we had some very close friends, some very dear friends that are leaders in the church in Phoenix that were they took real offense to that, and called us out on that, and sat us down, even we, you know, we had long discussions with them about, about this issue of race. And I remember in those discussions that I was confronted, you know, with, you know, to, to acknowledge that America was a profoundly systemically racist country, we were racist, to our core, everything about the institutions and the structures of the society was racist, and that I was beyond that I was complicit in that because of my skin color. And that I needed to own up to that complicity. I needed to repent over that, or the word was often you know, lament, you know, my unconscious racism and my privilege. So it became very, like personal and I remember feeling just so puzzled and so sad about that, because I thought these are not biblical ideas. I don't know where these ideas come from. But, but they seem very new to me. And it's really in some ways, what prompted me to write the book on social justice is just my own exploration of what you know, where did these ideas come from that now are so pervasive in the culture that they come right into the church and I've got respected Christian friends really challenging me on these ideas. So anyways, those that was painful and personal and a relationships suffered as a result of that, because, you know, just people responded in different ways.
Yeah, I just thinking about a couple of these examples we've given. Just to play devil's advocate, I used to be more in this, this more of this line of thinking, but with a lot of these, I think you have inside the church, two camps that are made where one camp says, Okay, let's look at an issue like race relations in the US or even COVID With mandates. And you can choose the side of let's let's seek the most loving solution here. The most tolerant solution some people say, the most,
you know, don't want to hurt our witness. Compassionate. Yeah. Whereas other people see these as a more In the core truth category of this is, this is not a biblical stance. And we're going to take a more firm stance on this. And you know, our friend, Alan strong defines this as the winsomeness project. And this this desire of a lot of Christians to be winsome. That's a good desire, but it's when it is confronted by things that are more clearly non biblical to where it sometimes causes a lot of friction. Yeah. Did I explain that? Well, I just see this this, that when some verses may be more truth driven debate. Yeah.
I think when as I'm listening, I'm just reflecting on disunity. Our topic, it is disunity in the church. And if you go back, you know, 100 200 years, 300 years, whatever. Darrow, you brought this up at one point, in an earlier conversation just about this unity over theological differences, over over baptism over church, government over
things of that nature. And, and yet, I think, you know, in our own life's lifetime, we've seen it come together of denominations of Protestant and Catholic to an understanding of No, there are some, there are some basic, foundational, spiritual principles in the Bible that we can agree with. And so I don't, we don't have that conversation ongoing as much anymore, hardly at all in my life. But now we have just unity at an at another level. And it's, it's it's at, you know, we look at it as and I think this article that you pointed to recently, the it's a biblical worldview, it's a worldview level disunity. And that just feels much more severe, much more fundamental, maybe I'm wrong, because I wasn't around 200 years ago, when we were people were killing each other over baptism. But, but now, I mean, when you strike the core of who am Who is man, what is what does it mean to be a human being? What does it mean to to him? Do we have dominion over our Earth? Are we do we live in unity and harmony with the Earth once? Those are fundamental, core
questions. And that's where we're starting to struggle, I think.
And that makes the unity that much more difficult. Because they are foundational issues.
Do you agree?
Do I agree? Yes, definitely. Yeah. Let me throw something in here. At this point. We're talking about unity, and we need to make a distinction between unity and uniformity. And uniformity means we all need to be the same. We need to think the same, act the same. And if there's somebody that is my neighbor, or a member of the church that doesn't act like me, then that's a place for division. I think the Bible speaks of unity, as a an important virtue. There's no question about that. But it's not a unity of uniformity. It's a unity of diversity. And I think that's probably a place for our discussion that helps us to engage with a larger group of people then if the unity is uniformity I think of during our lifetime you can look at what happened in Mao's China are not for you, Tim and Luke, but for for Dwight and Scott and I, we can look at Mao's China. And Mao wanted unity. But that meant uniformity. Everybody had to dress the same have the same haircuts, read out of the same Little Red Book. And anybody that was different outside of that. Uniformity, was similarly killed, executed. And Mao was not afraid to kill What was it 40 million people in China in order to have uniformity that we don't That's not, should not be in our vocabulary as Christians. God himself is Trinity. One God, three persons, there's unity, and diversity. And God made us as human beings. And the thing that unites us is a macho day. We all who are born into the human family, are a macho day, but we're different sizes, different ages, different colors. But there is a level of unity in our humanity. And we can celebrate different people, and different relationships within the framework of that unity. And the kingdom of God is a unity of diverse peoples of different tribes and nations. And there's one king and one kingdom, the kingdom of God. That is a huge umbrella for bringing people together, not to make them all the same, but to bring them together in all their diversity under one framework. So I think it's important when we talk about division, what is the unity that we're looking for? And is it uniformity? Or is it unity of diversity? And I throw that into the mix of artists discussion?
And, and I find that a little confusing, Darryl,
you can't you can't have unity over diversity I across the board. I mean, at some point, Unity means you're unified with somebody on something. And my point would be what are the the beauty of the country I've grown up with? There's there was some deep unity historically, on what does it mean to be a human being? What is our purpose here on this planet? Who, what's ultimate reality. And there was a unity at that level, which then allowed because it was so strong diversity at all these other levels. And I think the challenge of Mao and Stalin and others was they didn't have unity at that deep level, because they were going against the very nature of humanity when they were striking. So they had to create unity in the in the, in the fruit of the tree, you all had to look like apples, because they knew the roots weren't unified. But if the roots are unified, the tree can have a variety of fruit.
When you say roots and fruit to explain, you're talking at roots, you're talking about those deep fundamental beliefs. Yeah,
I'm thinking about ideas of consequences tree of the DNA. Yeah, those fundamental ideas that define who we are as human beings and our relationship to ultimate reality and to one another, and to creation itself. Yeah. And when you fracture at that level, at the root level, you have to you have to create unity of uniformity, you have to create uniformity.
But this is where I think, in the United States, as you're using this as an example, there was a unity on the worldview level when this nation was founded. It was basically founded by mono theists and mono theists and most of those were Trinitarian, mono theists. And they had a certain reference point, the Scripture and the virtues that were outlined in the Scripture. And when you keep the unity at this larger level, the worldview level, you can encompass more people and we are at in the United States today massively divided on the worldview level, from the Judeo Christian worldview on one hand, to an atheistic worldview on the other. And that works its way out, all the way down from the worldview level, the principles that you operate your life by, to people who you vote for, to government policies. All of those things are ultimately rooted in a divide at the worldview level. I remember one of the first vision conferences we did was in Burma, a closed country. It was Buddhist and background. The Christian population I think was less than 2% of the Burmese people. And Bob and I went to Bob Moffitt and I went to Burma for our second Vision Conference. And there were, I think about 90 people there. And the day the conference started, you could see these people walk into the room and look at each other and say, What am I doing here? Have I doing here, come to the right place. And, you know, there were the Anglicans, and there were the Lutherans and charismatics, and Pentecostals and the larger body of Christ there. But they had animosity, one towards another. The Methodist didn't get along with the Charismatics. And these were deep divisions and almost hatred, where you could live in a same community, and not speak to another Christian who came from a different denomination. And they were divided around theological themes. And Bob, and I were not talking on the theological level, we were talking on the worldview level that we are made in the image of God. And when you talk about that, you could see all the pastors in the room shaking their heads, yes. Yes. And then you talk about we live in a moral universe, and the pastors would all be shaking their heads, and you do that a few times, and they start seeing each other, shaking their heads. And before you know it, they're talking together. They're worshiping together, they're reading the scriptures together. Because there is on a worldview level, a series of principles that bring the larger body of Christ together. And its beauty. I hear
you saying, DeRose, you're talking about what CS Lewis called Mere Christianity, it's these these fundamental things that we share in common? Yeah. You know, some people say, we've got a major on the majors and you know, kind of minor on the minors. And that's what I hear you talking about. And I think that's kind of with just within the church, that's an important stance that we need to take. I think what we tend to kind of as Christians, especially in the United States, I think this is true, we tend to, we tend to like to think in a kind of a divisive way, theologically, and we want to put people into theological camps. Are you a Calvinist? Are you on our Minion? Are you, you know, just on all sorts of different issues, especially eschatology? Do you believe in the kingdom, it's irrelevant for now or the future anyways, we've got, in fact, I was just teaching in Paraguay. And after I did my teaching, you know, the person that I was teaching with, he immediately wanted to kind of put me into a box, you know, he said, Hey, you know, given what you're saying, you must fit into this box. And I think that's the way we tend to, that's very common, but it's also very divisive, right? You know, because you're in that box, I'm not in this box, and we can't really talk to each other have anything to do with each other. But there's another way of thinking as Christians, and that is to say, yeah, those things are important that there's, there's a, there's a lot more, a lot more fundamental things that we have in common, you know, these basic truths of Christianity, there is a God we're fallen, we're made in His image, you know, he you know, all lives matter, you know, some of these basic things that we can all agree on. And our stance should be let's maybe before we get into the things that are questionable, or which, you know, are going to create some questions or challenges on theology. let's affirm, you know, the things that we, you know, the unity that we have on these more basic things, I think that we should
live on the basis of the unity. Uh huh. Not live on the basis of the division. Yes. So we can give each other room for different Escalade, eschatological position are a different form of baptism. Because there is the higher unity that we all subscribe to. And that's the place we fellowship.
Yeah, yeah. I agree with that. And we've seen you know, the fruit of that in our vision conferences around the world, like you're sitting there. It's always exciting when you get people together from a variety of theological or denominational backgrounds. You know, because we're too Talking about those basic the basic mission of the church, the purpose of the church, and all the sudden some unity begins to break out that wasn't there before. And you know, we always praise God when we see that I. But I do want to come back to what Dwight was saying, because he's saying something quite different. I think too, about just, we're talking about divides within the church around theology, but there's a divide in the culture that's much more fundamental. And it's over really basic things. Is there a God? Or is there no God? You know, are we made in His image? Or are we basically just products of a purposeless process of evolution? Do you change society through, you know, a heart mind transformation through the gospel? Or is it something that we have to bring about in the political sphere, by changing structures of society through revolutionary movements? You know, are you not I mean, we these are really fundamental divides that that we have in our culture right now. And these divides are coming into the church as well, right? These fundamental divides, I mean, they're so this isn't just Christians disagreeing with each other about baptism, or about the Kingdom of God, they're disagreeing with each other on just the nature of salvation even these days, you know. So, what do we do with that? I think that's the challenge. That's the new challenge that we're facing right now.
I, my response immediately, would be to go back to DEROS illustration of what he experienced in Burma, because I saw the same in Uganda, I'll never forget these pastors talking to me, and they say, We have never met together. Back. We've never been in this particular church building in our lives. Until this training was given on biblical worldview, and development of our community. And we came together and we agreed on biblical worldview. And now we're working together for the development of our community. And we're unified in a way we've never been there. We're so happy that we're so excited about exactly Pentecostals and Anglicans, and across the spectrum, eschatological and everything. So but I think that, that we can still go back to that and say, you know, that isn't a very, very unifying force, to, you know, we may be splitting now. Now we're at, we're at risk of splitting over worldview issues in the church. But on the other hand, it's still a very strong way to come together. And just I think that's, that's beautiful.
Yeah, I agree. But still, like the divide, go back to the divide, because I think this is such a key part of our division, you know, in the church, and in the society right now is, let's say, critical theory. And I go back to my discussion with my friends during our discussion, it was over fundamental issues of what is, for example, justice. You know, what, what does that word even mean? And we had very different definitions of that word, you know. And when you when you are divided at that level, it's really challenging, isn't it? I mean, we're talking about a more fundamental division, you know, that's the that's the new challenge. I'm not I'm just saying, you know, we need to we I think we are in a new day of a challenge on this issue of disunity because of these these very, I would say, very unbiblical, very hostile ideas that now are pervasive in the culture in the institutions, education, business, etc, arts, and now also in the church.
I look here, I've been trying to say something I think
I'm really enjoying this discussion. And, yeah, just just to one more point, when we were talking about church unity, and what you guys have seen over the years, the conferences, just the unity that I see in those is absolutely beautiful. I've never seen it anywhere else to that extent. Because you have people from every continent, the world, many countries represented tons of traditions, tons of backgrounds, and yet there's absolute unity. And in the mornings, we usually start off our mornings with the worship time. And one morning, you have Kenya, you know, a group from Kenya go up and lead worship and everyone's dancing. We're having a great time. And the next morning, it's a different country. And we're sitting still, and we have the guitar playing and we're singing, you know, and it's it's, it's it's such a unifying vision, and I love it. And I don't feel like I see that anywhere else. So it's just just a beautiful thing there. And I think, to what you're saying that with the now the real competing, really antithetical, worldviews that are confronting the church, in America and around the world, I mean, this this message is not just for the US at all. I think this is one of the solutions is as a church, what can be that core unifying vision that we can come around to confront these because if we can't unify as a church, you It's gonna be really hard to confront something like post modernism that says truth doesn't even exist. I see this in small ways. For example, in the pro life movement, there's a unifying vision there. Life is sacred. And you see people from across the spectrum unifying over that you see, Catholics, you see Protestants, Pentecostals, they're all out there. I think that's a good example of what we should be doing on a larger scale. Instead of all this infighting inside the church, what can be those core unifying? What can what can that vision be, you know, without a vision, the people perish? And I think that's what we see a lot today.
And so far, we've already brought up a few of those. But do you think those are dead deep enough? To unify over you're saying in the church, there's some things that you think we can't even find a unifying vision inside the church? Is that what I heard you saying a second ago with with the topics like justice?
Yeah, so I think it's really challenging. And again, you know, my own experience with this is that it's so ironic, right? This, this justice, the new social justice movement, and, you know, they talk a lot about, you know, the DEI, the DEI training, diversity, equity and inclusion, but so they liked this word diversity, but just as Darrow said, they, they, you know, it's it's a false idea. Because unless you toe the ideology to a tee, you're out, right? I mean, it's, it's there is no kind of room for diversity. And so what that meant, for me personally, when I was confronted with this is, unless I agree that let's just say a couple of their key presuppositions, number one, America's fundamentally racist, like to the core, we always have been, we likely always will be have to agree to that. And number two, if you're white, you have to agree that you are part of the problem, that you're complicit in that and that you've you've benefited from that. And if you don't like so I struggled with that. I said, No, I can't, I can't agree with those things categorically at all. It's much more nuanced. And the response that I got back was, you're a racist, right? You're, you're you've crossed the line, you're now kind of on the side of evil, you're bigoted, whatever it is. So that's the challenge I'm talking about. Okay. I want to haven't I want to engage in discussion with these folks. I want to stay together, keep the discussion going. I was written off, you know, because of, you know, the Yeah, I just wouldn't, I wouldn't, I wouldn't. I wouldn't go along, you know. So that's the challenge. And I think you could see that in a number of ways. But I do think this, especially raised within the church is just been a huge driver of of disunity, this critical race theory. So that's, that's kind of what I'm talking about.
But what's interesting about that, that was is it really is an issue of, of identity. It's a model. I mean, I can't go back to that conversation. You had Scott and Darrell. But I'm wondering what if you sorted then say, well, what does it mean to be Imago? dei is is being a Mago. De means I am defined by my white class, my white male position in society, is that the core of who I am? And if it is, okay, then I'm guilty of being that because I have no other recourse because that's who I am. But Imago Dei says, no, no, no, you're you're a part of that group. But that's not who you
are. Exactly. Do
I mean, if you start, but you got to dig deep and deep and deep till you finally go, do we agree at least?
No, I did probe that very issue. You know, in other words, what fundamentally defines us as human beings, right? And of course, I would say things like, you know, were created by God. Number one, number two, you know, were loved by God were created in His image. The It wasn't that they would say, No, we disagree with that. But I could see that there were other things that were taking the preeminent position over that. And that was, what defines you more fundamentally than those things is things like your skin color, the group that you belong to, like that, that trumps those other things. So it wasn't that they denied it. But that they kind of lowered that to a second tier, you know, and what, what was the most important thing was skin color. And that's where we had a fundamental disagreement. I'm like, No, I can't agree with you fundamentally, that things like skin color, or, you know, groups that I belong to based on ethnicity or something like that are more important in defining who I am then. Then these other things like being created by God in His image, these things that create a unity, right. And what I realized is that the ideology itself is divisive. It's like designed to be divisive. It's right. And it that's the fruit of it is just division, you know, and that's just what you're gonna get
And my argument to that would be that that's because fundamentally it is attacking the Christian worldview at that. Yes. It's
it's a fundamental difference. We're not talking about, you know, baptism or these issues of theology in the church. We're talking about fundamental worldview divisions. Now at that, at that worldview level of what does it mean to be a human being? Exactly.
And it's even more difficult when they say, No, that's not what we're arguing.
It's like, oh, yes, we are. We're not right.
Let's just exactly just create confusion. Yeah, yeah.
I want to get into related to that, and I don't want to cut anyone off, if you want to add, you know, more to what we just said there about the kind of the fundamental divisions that we're facing today. But I yeah,
I really have a question, you know, and it's like, I think I've heard as well describe, there is disunity. The disunity seems to have grown, the disunity seems to be more visible, more marked. More difficult to overcome. And, and so, you know,
yeah, what do we do? Yeah, yeah.
Yeah. What do we bomber, you know, like, it's not overcome, you know, like, what, where are we? Is there hope? Is there hope for the church? Like, what is? What's the conclusion?
Yeah, let's, let's definitely talk about that. Because I do think responding rightly, to even fundamental worldview differences is important. How do we respond to people when we have fundamental worldview differences, Tim, and
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Yeah, I want to get there. But I do before we do that, I do want to explore this a little bit further, because I want to ask the question, you know, why are we in this position in the church where the divisions now go beyond just basic theology that we've had for a long time and into into more fundamental worldview issues. And I want to do that by looking at a divide that happened in the church in the West 100 years ago or more, and it was also over fundamental issues, it was over the authority of the scriptures. does God's word you know, have authority or is it? You know, is it is it authoritative on issues of truth, or mere suggestions, and it's not really genuinely the Word of God? I mean, those are fundamental questions, or even over the mission of the church, there was a divide on is our mission to, to see people come to know faith come to faith in Jesus Christ to disciple them? And through that to begin to change nations through an inside out process of transformation? Or is it to start with the structures of society to kind of change government policy and whatnot that became known as the social gospel? And then through those enlightened government policies, we're going to see the kingdom of God come on Earth, right, those are fundamental divides and that royal the church 100 years ago, it's split between them with you know, what we would call the mainline churches today and in earlier days, the fundamentalist church and today's Evangelical Church and that divide still, you know, there's evidence of it of course, we live within the the ramifications of that divide even today. My question then is what can we learn from that in our current circumstance, you know, what can we what are we kind of doomed to repeat that again, because we're facing another time of fundamental division in the church. What are your thoughts on that? Are we how do we what can we learn how How do we apply the lessons of that to our current situation?
I think that, that, for me, the essence comes down to again, what does it mean to be a human being? And is who Dwight is the result of his environment? And our is it is Dwight, something that God created with a mind and a moral basis and a foundation of individuality? A moral creature, you know, is that who Dwight is? And, and one side of the coin now says, No, everybody, and everyone is a product of their environment. So if you're white, you're a product of that environment. If you're black, you're a product of that environment. If you're female, you're a product of that environment. All and it comes out of Neo Darwinian ism. I think that's the great divide. I think that one side says you every human being is a product of the context they grow up in, and the genetics they were born with. And the other size know where that but we're more than that, fundamentally. Yeah. And when you when you when you when you divide those two and say, No, that's all we are. Somehow that to me, I that feels like the dividing point. Yeah. Yeah. And I don't know how to explain it. But that's how I that's what I think is the dividing point.
I would agree with you, Dwight. I would say that, that division 100 years ago that created this, this particular split was how did the church respond to Darwinism? It's that simple. And a lot of the church embraced Darwinism. As an ideology. And had that begin to change what does it mean to be a Christian? What is the Bible? What is the church? What is the mission of the church? Because Darwinism, radically understand, understands the bait of basic worldview issues in a radically different way. And when you accept the assumptions of Darwinism, either consciously or unconsciously, you accept those, it will answer the questions. What does it mean to be human? What is the church? What's the Bible in very different ways? Then if you begin with a biblical worldview, and I think the split goes back to that worldview level? And the question, and it was a Jew, who Dennis Prager, who wrote a very profound article that I thought, Oh, this is variants insightful, wasn't anything absolutely new to me, but just the way he framed it. He said that there are certain Jews that have more in common with Christians than they do with their fellow Jews. And he said, What's the difference? And he said, Do you come under the authority of Scripture? Or are you an authority over scripture? And in a, in the atheistic framework, man has the authority. And man has the authority over scripture. So you can be Protestant, a Catholic, a Jew? And you can say, well, I have final authority over scripture. Or you can say, No, scripture has final authority over me. And I might not always understand or like everything that scripture says, But it is my authority. And I think that division, as it were, it goes back to the worldview level of division. Is there a god in the universe who can speak and has spoken? It's all a mystery to me.
Siri answers your question.
Siri answers my question,
Siri, that's the wrong answer. That's so funny. Or on the other side, you consciously or unconsciously accept the Darwinian framework of an atheistic, materialistic, naturalistic universe in which there is no transcendent reality. The Bible will simply becomes the product of religious men. And you are the final authority. So
yeah, I think that's, that's the dividing line who's God?
Who is God,
the God who isn't me or my God? Is it me? Yeah
and God's word, what role does that play in terms of authority? What does it mean to be human? So we are That's right. That was your point. I think that I'd like to make a point here. And we bring this up in our teaching very often that going back to the division 100 years ago, which you're right, Darrow, a lot of it was these powerful new ideas that were coming into the west through philosophers and, and thought leaders like Darwin, that really were ushering in this entirely secular worldview, a world you know, worldview, that discounted. God saw everything in material terms, when these powerful ideas come in to the culture, the church base is a temptation, I think, to do one of two things and kind of a wrong way, number one, to kind of adapt itself to these powerful ideas, right to kind of say, hey, in order to, you know, to be seen as acceptable by these new powerful elites and society that have accepted these ideas, and are now leading our institutions, we have to go along with it. And we have to adapt our, our worldview, even our, we have to adapt our biblical worldview to kind of, we have to somehow shoehorn it into a secular ideology, which is impossible to do, but they try and then they abandoned some core teachings of the Bible, some fundamental teachings about human nature and the authority of the Bible. So that's one that's one, you know, temptation that I think is wrong. And then the other temptation is to say, Wow, all this look, you know, all this engagement in culture and politics and you know, all of this is just something that we should just, let's avoid it, right. It's, it's, it's, you know, it's very divisive. And it's, it's really a waste of our time. It's a distraction, we need to just focus on these spiritual things like church attendance, church growth, witnessing to our neighbors, personal spiritual growth, and any talk of politics are any talk of changing society in any way is just a complete distraction. And I think we're seeing that play out again, right now and you've got a you know, another yet another ideology. I mean, they're closely related, but this one's more rooted in post modernism and Marxism coming into the society taking over and then you've got a group in the church that that are saying, hey, we need to kind of adapt our theology to this you know, critical race theory you know, you name it this kind of sexual morality this upside down sexual morality. And then you got another group once again, saying no, hey, just get out of the world. It's a mess. It's you know, it's it's you know, it's a waste of time just focus on getting people into the church and into heaven and anything beyond that is just something that the church shouldn't be engaged in. So I think you know that to me that those are two problems temptations if you will at the church it's faced then it's facing today you know, I you know, to me the Jesus spoke against both of these he said, you know, in his high priestly prayer you know, we need to be in the world but not of the world right we need to be engaged in this world as salt it has light we can't you know, let's not abandon our mission to engage in this world for good for truth for beauty. But we have to stand for the truth right? We have to hold on to these fundamental biblical worldview beliefs and that's going to put us at odds with powers that be in the in the in the in the in the world right you know, so in the world but not of the world. I think we have to get back to that and that has to be a part of our unity if you will. Any thoughts on on any of that guys?
Yeah, I don't I don't think the well the great command is to love God and and the second is to love your neighbors yourself and I don't think any place we can justify love as blurring the lines and saying let's let's call let's call bad good let's call it good bad. Let's let's kind of blur those because let's just do it because we want to be loving so I think as Christians we we have to be able to say no, there is this thing called love and love stands with goodness and beauty and truth and truth and it's rarely said those three Are those three are opposite sides of the same three sided coin?
No, that's right. They're they're a Trinitarian.
Yeah, respect. So yeah, the temptation today is to separate them and to say, to be loving in this cultural environment, we have to go along with these ideas. In other words, we have to abandon truth. You know, because, you know, we need to this is back to your point, Luke, we need to be seen as winsome, you know, we need to be seen as acceptable by powerful people in the culture, right. And so, that, that that's definitely I think, the bigger of the two temptations right now I see a lot of people falling into that temptation, frankly, and kind of downplaying truth, you know, so.
And we can confidently say that to abandon truth is to abandon goodness. And is to abandon beauty. And we don't always realize that, but that's what we're doing. Right? That's right. Ultimately, we are, you start banding the truth, and somebody's gonna get hurt. And I
want to say this, we're talking about unity and disunity, ultimately, Unity has to be built, it just has to be built around truth. At the level of these fundamental questions, there just can't be unity apart from it. You know, what I'm saying? You know,
that reminds me of Hebrews 1214. Make every effort to live at peace with all men, and be holy. Without holiness, no one will see the Lord. And it's that we need to unify around holiness around truth, or else we cannot. That's, that's how we make peace with all men.
Right? Right. Sorry, then cut you off. No, that's right. I think that's right. I think, in my mind, any kind of work to reunify the church in these divisive times it, it cannot be an abandonment of truth, right? It has to be an affirmation of truth at these basic fundamental worldview level things. And then, of course, people are going to say, but that's impossible. We're divided on these issues. So So what do we do? How do we respond? And you know, in the in the last 10 minutes of our talk, guys, I want to I want to go there and just acknowledge that we are divided at a fundamental level on fundamental truths. And so what what is the Bible this Tim gets to your, your earlier? kind of question of what do we do? Do we just write each other off? Do we just say, Hey, we're divided? That's it? You know? How do we respond? What what does that look like? What? I'd love to get your guys's thoughts on that when we're when you're divided on fundamental issues with a friend, family member? Other people worldview level division here, you know, what do you do? How do you respond?
You know, I'll just give a simple one. First, I want to hear from you guys. But one thing I think is important. My brother explained this to me a few years ago, but is to make sure where your where your point of disagreement falls. Before we talked about major disagreements versus minor disagreements, I like adding a third category in there of figuring out if your disagreement falls within a realm of core truth.
Whether it falls within a realm of conviction, or within preference. And it's good to kind of define those three camps first, or else you can have a categorical error and be, you know, having a disagreement and you think it's a core truth disagreement, when it's really a preference, or it's really a conviction. If it's a conviction, you're gonna want to treat it one way. Romans does a lot in explaining how we should respond to one another's convictions. Romans 14 specifically, yes, preference, if it's a preference thing, like worship music, for example, would be a preference type like worship music. Yeah, exactly. You should be able to figure that out and not get his not split over those things. Yeah. Whereas if it is core truth, that's something that we need to we need to deal with in a different in a different way. And I think that's what that's more of what the question is, here is when it is a core truth divide. How do we how do we approach that type of disagreement?
But I think your point is really good. Luke, I just want to underscore it here. You know, not every divide or difference is a core truth or a fundamental worldview, truth type of division. So to clarify, you know, just to think, what is dividing us? Is it more at that level of personal conviction or of where there's some freedom, right, there's, as you said, in Romans 14, Paul says, you know, there's some freedom to develop convictions one way or the other, and we should respect each other's convictions. Rather than try to force everyone to my particular conviction, and then there's just preference. So I think that's really a good word there. You know, we should try to unify on those first on the level of conviction and You know, and preference but But what do we do when it's a fundamental kind of divide? Yeah.
You allow for charity
You still love the other person. You treat them as human beings. You listen to them, doesn't mean you agree with them, that you listen to them and have a civil dialogue with them. That you don't write them off and you don't try to destroy them.
What I'm hearing you say is you don't you still see them, right? You You don't see them as an enemy or, or as somebody who's beyond the pale. But you still see them as a human being. And even I would say, as a brother, sister in Christ is out. I hear you say, Darrell, well, if they're Christians, if they if they're Christian, we're talking about within the church here. Yeah. And if not, you
see them as a brother or sister in Adam and Eve. That means
as a human being, right, it's a fellow human being. Yeah,
I'll never forget. When I was in Cambodia, one time I took my daughter to Cambodia on a trip and we were visiting the museum in the killing fields, where they were showing all the horrible things that the camera Rouge did. And there was a picture of Pol Pot. And then there was a picture of the man who was his henchmen who would take and basically he was the guy that was responsible for killing a million Cambodians. And I was looking at these these two evil men's pictures. And it was at eye level. And, you know, it was of a head size pitcher at eye level. So it's very much of a Oh, wow, I'm, I'm looking into the eyes of these two, mass murderers. And I often think that there's a place where individuals cross a line from being sinful to being evil. And I like to see if myself on the line of being sinful, but not evil. And I put these two guys in the evil category. And then I remembered reading a few years later about this guy, who is the henchmen of Pol Pot, living in the jungle hiding. And he came to know Jesus Christ. Some missionary in the jungles, found him shared the gospel with him. He came to know Jesus Christ, and it was so real. That he turned himself into the Cambodian government to stand trial for the murders that he had done. That's how it really was. And I realized, no one is beyond the grace of God. Amen. And that was a lesson for me. And so bottom line, they may be brothers and sisters in Christ, but if they're not their brothers and sisters, and Adam and Eve, and we need to, even though we would maybe vehemently disagree with them, still relate to them?
Yeah, you know, just that idea that God doesn't write people off. You know, it's amazing to me the grace of God, right. Here's this guy that, you know, you've written off as evil beyond, you know, really redemption. Yeah, beyond redemption. And yet, here's God, nope, I'm gonna pursue him, you know? Yeah. You know, and I'm stunned by that over and over again, you know, just just nobody, like you say, is beyond God's redeeming love. And if that's the case, how does that change the way we see people when we have fundamental disagreements with them? Right, and how do we do with our own heart our own kind of the way we see them? You know, do we write them off? Do we just say, hey, done over? Yeah, I'm out of here. I'm out of here. No, because that's not the way God deals with them or with us. Right? You know, thank God for that.
I'd like to read something. And this came from my men. to Francis Schaeffer, a sermon that he wrote that became a small little booklet called the mark of the Christian. And I don't know how many of you have read that or heard the sermon. But it's one of those sermons that just goes straight to the heart when you hear it. And it was taken from John, chapter 17, where Jesus is praying. And of course, in this prayer, he's praying for himself. And then he's praying for the church. And then he's praying for those who have believed because of the church. And in verse 20, he says this, my prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who believe in me through their message. So he's praying for us today. Those who have believed in Christ because of those who were our predecessors, Father, chest, as you are in them, and I am in you. The See, I'm sorry, I pray for those who will believe in me through their message that all of them may be one. Jesus is praying for us that we would be one father chest as you are in Me, and I am a new that's how one he prays that we will be. May they be in us, so that the world may they also be in so that the world may believe that you sent me? How is the world going to believe that the Father sent the Son by the unity of God's people, I have given them the glory that you gave me. That they may be one as we are one. So He says it again. I am them and you in Me? May they be brought to complete unity, to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them, even as You have loved Me. So we're talking today about unity, we're talking about? Division. And this is in Jesus's prayer before he goes to the cross. What is he praying for? For the unity of God's people, so that the world will know that the Father sent the Son. And, you know, we started early with this saying, you know, what's the umbrella? Where are we operating? What's the framework? Now it's the Father loves the Son. And the son loved us so much that He gave His life for us. And he is prayer is that we would be in unity. So how do we, you know, how do we focus on the kingdom of God? How do we focus on being one, even in the midst of divisions, that has to be a higher priority than the thing that we're fighting over? Somehow, we need to keep that in focus.
I'm, you know, Darrow, I've got thoughts on, you know, Jesus, obviously, this prayer is so powerful in this prayer for unity in the value of unity, you know, this is really, and the purpose of it is that the world would know, so that, you know, the stakes are so high. But it can't just be again, a unity without a core knowledge of, you know, acknowledgement of the truth. There just can't be you know, there can't be some kind of papered over unity here. I'm
not arguing for that. I think in fact, you need you need clarity more than consensus.
But I think clarity
around the core should mean something. Yeah.
Go ahead. John. 318 addresses this when it's talking about how, how we how we seek this unit. be in Christ. And it says, Dear children, let us not love with words and speech, but with actions and with truth. So we love with truth. So again, that's getting to that core way that we love, one another as Christ loved, as Christ loved us. It's not just in words and in speech, but in actions in truth. That's right. Yeah,
I'm just sitting here thinking, you know, the three or five of us are on this call together, and are we in unity? And we are, but what if we're not? Then do I get you to agree with me? And we're all in Unity? Do you have to think exactly like me, and then we're all in Unity? Or is there somehow in this command of love, that I can create unity here, because I am going to love you guys, no matter what, you know, no matter what, and I'll love you towards what I think is true. But somehow the Unity comes from me, saying, I'm gonna love that person. I'm gonna love some I don't understand how that works. But somehow, I think, Luke, I agree with you. Love is at the core of unity.
But I want to just say one thing, too, I think you're right, that we, we can't create unity, either through truth or love, in a sense, but what we can do is not close the door to it, right? You know, we we, right? You can love somebody that you fundamentally disagree with. But that doesn't mean that they're going to change, they may not. But the love part means I'm not going to close the door. Right? You've you choose to close and I can't do anything, I can't do anything about that. I don't control you. But I'm not going to do it. Because I'm going to I choose to love you. And so the door is going to remain open, you know, and I'm even going to personally I'm going to even pursue you I'm going to continue to pursue our relationship because of love. Does that mean we're going to be unified? Maybe? I mean, at least a door is open to it. But it you know, and I think that's, I think that's that's how I understand it in my own life. I don't want to cut people off, even if we have fundamental disagreements. You know, the fundamental disagreement means we're not we aren't unified, we are not. But I don't want to exclude that from happening in the future. Again, one of the verses that has helped me a lot of of late on this subject is well, well to to what one is one that we all know that, you know, it's it's talking about spiritual warfare in Ephesians. And it says, Paul says to us, remember that your enemy isn't flesh and blood. That was helped me a lot. Because it gets our focus, when we're when we're fighting in a division with people at a fundamental level, it gets me reminds me, I don't have human enemies. Ultimately. I have one enemy. And it's it's Satan. Right. And so then what do we do with with people when we have fundamental divisions? Well, first of all, as Darrow said, I think it's important to see them as people that are not beyond God's grace, not you know, not God's going to continue to pursue them in love and we ought to as well that they're not our enemies. Satan is and then Second Timothy, 225, and 26 brings these bolt together, I think in a very powerful way. Listen to it. Timothy's. Paul says here, he says opponents, okay, when he says opponents, he's talking about people that have fundamental disagreements, I think opponents must be gently instructed, in hopes that God will grant them repentance, leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil. Who has taken them captive to do as well. There's just a few thoughts on this. There's so much in this first of all, he recognizes we got opponents right that there's division. But what's our attitude towards them? It says it's not to hate them. It's not to write them off. It's not to give up on them they should be instructed in the truth. Jeb wet the word gently is so key here gently, right, because we are all prone to error. Right? And so yeah, so you know, we have to be careful ourselves, right? But then it's also in hope, that God will help them to change their mind that's what the word repentance means. So that they will regain a knowledge of the truth and come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil. There's there's the devil there behind this again, that's the enemy and he's trying to ensnare them to kill them to destroy them. So why are we don't want to see these people destroyed? We want them saved. And you know, so this is our role in our role isn't to just say, Oh, these divisions are these differences that we have don't matter to paper them over. No, it's to hold on to the truth. We want them to come back to a knowledge of the truth. And we have we have to be active in that we have to, we have to speak the truth. That's what I think we're getting at here in terms of gently instructed, right. So I don't want to me it's just been so helpful personally, in my own engagement with people who I have fundamental disagreements with you guys, we're getting close to the end. I'd love to hear any thoughts that you know, what are things that have helped you, you know, DeRose shared some things, anyone else? Things that help you to know how to respond when we have these fundamental disagreements and divisions?
Well, just to highlight what you were just saying, again, Dan, I think it really does help to define the enemy to find the who the opponent here is right? That's the devil that Satan We don't fight against flesh and blood, which is very, very hard to do. Sometimes. We always want to fight against flesh and blood because we the right in front of us. It's right like Pol Pot. That's a bad guy, right? But now he's not the enemy, the enemies, the enemy, Satan behind that, right?
Good something, do it if you were gonna say
no, I agree with that. For me, it's to get this to get my mind around this idea of Satan is the delude or Satan's the sower of lies. Satan is the deceiver. Yeah, he's the source of evil, and
he's doing it to kill people to destroy them. Right? You know, that's what he wants. And you know, we need to we need to fight against that we don't want people to be destroyed.
I think there's another thing that we don't have time to go into today, but it's worth worthy of reflection upon. Jesus said that we are to take up our cross and follow Him. And when we are in a situation where there is disagreement or conflict, are we willing to take the suffering on ourselves rather than put it on somebody else?
Explain that a little bit Darrow? Can you give, give more context or example, I
think, Martin Luther King, Jr. Going into the south, to face the dogs and the whips and all of that he was willing to take on the weight of the evil on his own life, and go to jail. And it was his taking on the weight of the evil of that moment in the South. That was one of the things that I think brought people to their senses. But if he pulled out a gun, and started shooting the cops and shooting the dogs that were attacking him, what would have happened?
I see what you're saying
that he was willing to take that evil and carry the burden of it so that people could be free. And that's exactly what Jesus did. He took our sin on him and paid the penalty of our sin. And I think that it wasn't just Christ who did that, that he He has called us to be people who will do likewise. Is that easy? No. But in terms of the issue, we're talking about today of division, are we willing to pay a price for the division to be healed? And I think what you're saying Scott is a step in that direction. I'm not going to cut off I'm not going to cut myself off from the person that's that's of like mind that's over. Like that's a good thing. But the next step is am I willing to take the pain that comes out of this and pay the price? And there's some
because because you can avoid that by by just cutting off the relationship. Yeah, yeah, just cut Yeah, I'm gonna avoid the pain that comes with this and I'm going to turn my back yeah yeah, I think of I'm for whatever reason I've got this idea in my mind of this. I won't name names but a mother that her her son came out and said, Hey, I'm I'm homeless. Sexual and started living, you know, it's a flagrant homosexual lifestyle. So that's a fundamental difference there. She's a Christian mother. And, you know, her response was not to cut him off, although I'm sure that was very tempting in some ways. But she stayed engaged. She didn't cut off the relationship. She prayed for him. She fit prayed and fasted with tears. And, and it caused her a lot of pain and suffering that she potentially could have avoided if she just wrote him off. Yeah, exactly. That's what I hear you say? Yeah.
And sometimes that creates misunderstanding among your friends. It's like, why haven't you written them off? Oh, now you're one of them, you know? And you can be easily misunderstood.
Yeah. And that's, again, part of taking on the pay.
And by the way, this young young man became a Christian and credits his mom for not giving up. I mean, just the power of that. Yeah. So it's very powerful. So, yeah, I think we can have fundamental differences. And we don't want to paper over these differences there too, because we have a higher commitment to truth. And again, you can only build unity at the end of the day, true unity around truth. But that doesn't mean that we write people off, we cut them off. No, that's not Christian. That's not biblical. You know, and I think that's what we're saying here at the end of the day, guys. Tim, thoughts from you any thoughts? You know, I know that this is something that's personal for you, too. And, you know, this is something you wrestle with? How, what thoughts do you have to share encouragement to our listeners on this?
Sure. Yeah. Just listening to you guys, as you reflected about the church 100 years ago, and kind of this division that eventually became, you know, mainstream churches and evangelical churches, I think about the, the, the human temptation, even within myself to kind of compromise on this idea of truth. I, I grew up in a truly postmodern home where, where truth really was not. I don't even know how to describe it. I mean, like,
just wasn't a value wasn't I believed in?
Yeah, objective truth was really not part of part of my home growing up. But but seeing it and understanding it more as an adult, you know, I just I just looked back with you guys at at this division in the church 100 years ago, and I see the mainstream Church lost any influence that the gospel and the Bible had and bringing flourishing to the people that they supposedly cared about. By just acquiescing and letting go of truth.
Yeah, they became exactly like the culture, right? Yeah.
If we're going to, you know, disciple and influence the culture, we have to stand for truth. If we care about people, it's not writing them off. Now, it's a lovingly and gently being available. To instruct, I have a kind of funny passage and proverbs that I like to look at. I don't know if it'll be useful to anyone else. You know, Proverbs sometimes has a way of talking out of its mouth on both sides. And sometimes that's useful, because in situations you need kind of both sides, but Proverbs chapter 26, verse four, and five, it says, Do not answer a fool, according to his folly. Or you yourself will be just like him. Verse five, Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. And it it even goes along with the context of what you were looking at, in Second Timothy, where, you know, the instruction that's empathy is, don't get caught up in arguments that aren't going anywhere. You know, we know when there is a receptive heart and a receptive spirit and we can speak and we can show compassion and it's received and it's meaningful. And we know when we're just talking into the air, we can run out of breath from just talking into the air when no one is listening, and nobody cares about what we're saying. So I think, you know, the instruction out of those Proverbs is to be discerning, you know, don't give up. But also don't spin your wheels. You know? And, and look for the times when, when speaking truth is, is going to be hard.
That's good to
know. I pray for those times because God wants to give you those times really crazy about the people. Yeah.
Pray, just pray are so key on this. So thanks for bringing that into this, you know, just praying for, you know, people's hearts to be open to the truth, you know, and that they would, you know, come to their senses as Paul said to Timothy right and escape the trap of the devil that that's a spiritualist spiritual battle here, right, this ultimately isn't we have to fight it with spiritual weapons.
I could give a one second testimony that was just, you know, I'd had years ago, some very condescending conversation with a person about faith. And you know, didn't really want to go back to that. But I really felt God putting it on my heart. And so I just prayed, I said, God, you know, give me an opportunity to speak well, because I care about this person. And I prayed, I asked other people to pray. And I had a beautiful conversation, where I was able to share and felt really respected and never imagined that would be possible. I just credited to God's desire for this person that I love, you know, so it's great.
Yeah. Good for you, Tim. I think all you guys inspire me, honestly, Dwight, I look at your life a lot. And you inspire me a lot, because you have friendships, and you work at friendships, where you do have fundamental worldview differences with people. And yet you don't you refuse to say I'm going to put all of that relationship into this box of fundamental disagreement. I'm going to find places where where I can build a friendship with this person around that, just like you said, the fact that they're made in God's image and loved by God, and you know, and and so you have a friendship, a genuine friendship. How do you, you know, Dwight, what do you do you tend to avoid those topics? We have fundamental disagreement. What do you do? You know, I'm serious, like, what do you do? Yes, yeah, yes. Okay. Yeah. So you just tend to avoid them? I do, too. Although I do pray, I do pray and look for opportunities. Right. You know, God, when the time was right, I do want to speak to that I don't want that fundamental disagreement to continue. I don't, because I can't We can't have the kind of unity that you want, while that still exists. But I still can be a friend. Right? Yeah, go ahead.
I say that, and I probably am a coward. But I also I also, you know, I have the strong sense that if you know what you believe, and you know, it's true. And you live by it. And you hold on to it in your core. It's going to be clear. I heard recently of a lady that was talking and she was talking to a friend. And the friend said, it was a neighbor. And she says, you know, we've got a big problem in my family with a sickness. And would you pray for me? And she goes, Why would you ask me to pray? And she goes, Well, you're a Christian. And she thought, well, I we just met you. You hardly even know me. You don't? I've never said anything about the Lord. Oh, you're a Christian. Christian? Was you pray for me? And it was like, Oh, my goodness, I had no idea. So I think I think the starting point is to hold on to the truth, and to believe it, and to and it will be expressed. So
Well, guys, yeah, this is so good. And I hesitate to bring it to an end. Because I feel like we're getting into some really good stuff right now, although we are kind of out of time. I'm sure there's a lot more that you guys have on your hearts to share. But I think what we got out on the table today was fantastic, and some good stuff. And I just want to our listeners here today, I guess I would just encourage you, who are those people, maybe even in your own family or church that you have these fundamental disagreements with? What is God calling you to today in terms of your response to those people? How have some of the things that we've said here maybe encouraged you and can you? Can you act on that? You know, I think, you know, what can you do even today? I think the fundamentally living in the truth living out a biblical worldview comes down to these basic relationships that we have every day. And often they're the most difficult ones that we have to live with, you know, the truth of our you know, we want to be people with the truth and live in the truth that comes down to these hard and difficult relationships, quite frankly, Are we faithful at that level? So I want to encourage you guys and myself and all of our listeners to be faithful at that level today. Guys, thanks for your great insights and your wisdom and thank you all for listening to another episode of ideas have consequences the podcast of the disciple nations Alliance.
Thank you for listening ideas have gone sequences is brought to you by the disciple nations Alliance. To learn more about our ministry you can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, or on our website, which is disciple nations.org. Also, if you'd like to learn more about our free online worldview training courses, just go to Coram dale.com. As the summer is wrapping up, and we're looking towards the fall, we hope you are all able to continue joining us here on ideas have consequences, and able to tune in to our upcoming episodes with special guests. Wayne Grudem, Jeff Meyers, Elizabeth humans, Jessica Shakira, Marvin Alaskey and Dr. George Barnum, just to name a few. So again, we're hoping you're able to continue to join us here on our podcast ideas have consequences. Thanks again for listening, and we'll see you next week.