Our pastor recently made a pun about “agreeing to disagree” that I really appreciated, basically, forget it, I’m not going to come alongside of wrongheadedness. I can’t “agree to disagree” with falsehoods, evil, and sin. That’s just cray-cray. Made me laugh because that can be very true sometimes.
Probably hard to tell from my somewhat strident blogging, but IRL I’m pretty cooperative and easy-going. I would prefer to just get along to go along. I am a total peacekeeper, often busy keeping the peace. For the record, that’s not biblical at all, that’s just a mom thing. My job has often been to keep the peace, to agree to disagree, because what we are all fighting over is actually…..the stupid princess fork of which there is only one in the house. Who got more chocolate milk. Whether or not somebody is actually staring at me on purpose. Peacekeeping is about getting through dinner in peace and putting out small fires of foolishness.
It is not biblical. The bible says, “Blessed are the peaceMAKERS: for they shall be called the children of God.” Making the peace is a whole different thing. “Making” is an action word, “keeping” is more passive. Peacemakers must stand in the truth, there is often going to be confrontation, and you cannot simply agree to disagree because that is just like draping a paper towel over a big mess on the counter and pretending you’ve fixed it.
Just because peacekeeping isn’t biblical, doesn’t mean I’m saying it’s wrong or sinful or anything. It sometimes serves a vital purpose. Sometimes just biting your tongue and keeping the peace really is the right thing to do.
For the past decade or so, the Lord has really been calling me out of peacekeeping mode and pulling me back to the biblical concept of peace-making. I know this because He has dropped me on my head into some situations where I have had to stand up, stand in the truth, and be confrontational. To simply “agree to disagree” would have been clearly immoral.
Romans 12:18 tells us, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” if possible, as much as it rests on you, live peaceably. I mention this verse because it is often exaggerated and misused, as if to say, you have to agree with me, you’re a Christian, you can’t judge, you’re a Christian, you have to be nice, you’re a Christian. Well “nice” actually means “silly, simple, insipid, and inane,” so scratch “nice,” right off the list. Nowhere in the bible are we ever called to be “nice.”
Kindness however, really is a fruit of the spirit.
Some people are exceedingly aggressive, hostile, and confrontational all of the time. They probably do need to tone it down. But the rest of us, the vast majority of us, are genuinely kind would probably prefer to just avoid conflict. I just want to offer those people some encouragement, some permission if you will, to stand up, speak up, and don’t ever think God is going to be mad at you about it.
Blessed be the peaceMAKERS.
*****REPOST FROM 2018