The other day, I took the babies to Chick-Fil-A, because I didn’t have enough time to go home between appointments, but couldn’t handle another minute of sitting in the car with whining children. Chick-Fil-A’s play area door is super hard to open for people younger than 6, so I could sit in a booth and read Facebook in relative peace, while they got their energy out.
Maybe it’s because we have so many seminaries and churches in Louisville, but there’s almost always Christians meeting up at our Chick-Fil-A. This time was no exception. In the booth next to mine, a couple of young guys were discussing ministry and theology.
I was a bit intrigued. (Like when you’re in a foreign country and see other Americans. You don’t necessarily introduce yourself, but you listen in to what they’re saying, just because the conversation is in English and they’re kind of your people.)
So one of the guys was sharing how his mom had asked him, “Do you know anything about Charismatic theology?” He went on, “And I told her, ‘It’s not good!’” His friend listening to the story reiterated, “Yeah, not good.”
The thing is, my church upbringing was Charismatic. So my eavesdropping brain was thinking, “Wait? What is ‘Charismatic theology’?” Last I checked, we come in a lot of different flavors, with a plethora of theological perspectives. But apparently these guys could write every one of us off with one broad brush stroke.
It kind of made me sad, there in Chick-Fil-A. Because the other bits and pieces of their conversation sounded like stuff I would agree with, from their theology to their politics.
Really, we had more in common than we had separating us.
But I think we all do this way too often. Most of us have a group of other Christians we dislike. There is some segment of brothers and sisters that we write off, because we dislike their views.
We roll our eyes. We say, “Can you believe they think ____________ ?”
Now, I’m not saying we can’t discuss non-biblical theology. It is important to bring correction to errors within the Church. I even recognize that we might disagree so strongly, that having a friendship with those on the other side of the discussion would be a strain.
But maybe we should still give each other some grace. We could try to celebrate the places where we do agree and still hear where they’re coming from when agreement isn’t possible. We should let love cover the weaknesses we perceive and choose to learn from their strengths. Really, we must speak about our differences from a place of love, since that was Jesus’ prayer for us (John 13:35).
Because probably, we have more in common than we have separating us.