Posts Tagged ‘disagree’

By Mike Edwards

I posted last week why we can’t seem to have discussions with others about politics if have a difference of opinion. See here. There are differences in the political and religion arena, but politicians and religious folks have many similarities when it comes to disagreeing.

Is the problem about power and control? 

Some just aren’t prepared to defend their viewpoint or hearing disagreements may undermine what they have believed for a long time. They don’t seek to push their beliefs on others but many seek to influence because they assume their truth, or their interpretation of the Bible, is God’s truth. We know control and power are intoxicating and a part of human nature. Quashing dissent allows one to be more in control which happens to enable job security in the institution. 

We can’t claim our truth is God’s truth 

Religious folks hide behind their interpretation of a Book as politicians hide behind their interpretation of science. Opposing views are said to disagree with God or be immoral. But even if you believe the Bible is inspired by God, the Bible requires interpretation. We don’t all agree if the Bible opposes women priests or preachers or condemns gays. Not all scholars who believe in the inspiration of Scriptures agree that a literal Hell is a reality in the Bible.

Not even God imposes beliefs on others

One might think a God powerful enough to create may annihilate immediately those who oppose God by choosing evil. God hasn’t. God’s love in the Bible is frequently compared to that of a human parent. Why would God act any different than a loving parent? Human or spiritual parents bring children into the world hoping their children freely reciprocate their love for authentic relationships. Forced love is an oxymoron. God doesn’t seek to control beliefs through fear.

This doesn’t mean we can’t cooperate with God in intervening to make for a better world. Jesus’ good news wasn’t to believe or eventually be blown up in Hell. See here.  Jesus only sought to encourage people to shun evil and do good for self-interest and the interest of others. Belief in freedom respects challenges. Meaningful, long-lasting change isn’t reached by controlling love.

There are absolute truths of course!  

Certain absolutes are universal and obvious to all rational beings. Who doesn’t believe physical or sexual abuse is wrong? No reasonable God or non-God person doesn’t respect that we ought to treat others like we want to be treated. Criminals don’t defend their murders or thefts; instead, they deny committing such crimes. Adultery is only not wrong in the eyes of the betrayer. The Bible doesn’t make such offenses immoral. They are immoral due to our inborn sense of good and evil.

We must have rules for conflict

Continually evaluate the most loving approach is better than claiming certainty and being wrong. We must learn to respond not react over our differences. Look for areas to agree first. Both parties must seek to understand before being understood. Stop demonizing by moralizing. Handle differences with physical and verbal civility. Imagine the impact the religious could have if those who believe in God “walked the walk” when have differing opinions. God-followers must stop claiming their biblical view is morally superior among the religious or non-religious.

Why Can’t We Disagree About God And Religion?


Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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by Jim Gordon

I realize not everyone will agree with all the articles on this site. We all are in a constant state of learning and changing. No matter what your lifestyle, what you choose to believe, how you accept things, none of us will ever completely agree with anyone else.

As believers, we would not expect those who do not follow the christian faith to agree with everything we think and say. Yet, we also know that other christian people will not agree with everything either. We have so many denominations in the christian world, yet none of them will agree completely. But this is all OK, we are all individuals who see things differently.

I think those of us trying to follow Christ should be able to accept one another. Same with believers and non-believers, learn to talk with each other about how we see things and still be respectful and kind. As believers we are to be known by our love, but unfortunately, that just is not the case most of the time.

No matter if we are gay, straight, christian, muslim, jew, hindu, atheist, asexual, baptist, methodist, charismatic or whatever label people put on us, the underlying fact is we are all human beings. We all deserve to be treated with respect and be accepted. Each of us should be able to live our life and make our own choices without being condemned by others. We should be able to discuss our differences respectfully, and none of us should try to force our views and choices on another.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of name calling and disrespect among different groups of people over time. Christian people saying God hates gays, and atheists are of the devil, people being afraid of muslims, one denomination wants nothing to do with another denomination…this is all wrong and sad.

If we could look past the labels and see each other as people who overall want the same thing, to be happy, to be loved, be healthy, get our bills paid and enjoy life, I think things would be better even with our differences. This is not to say we have to agree with everyone and associate with everyone and be happy together, that just is not going to happen. There are too many different thoughts, ideas, beliefs, lifestyles and personalities for us to agree on everything and be totally comfortable with everyone, yet accepting each other and respecting each other in spite of our differences certainly is a possibility.

When you read about the life of Christ in the gospels, you see someone who loved people. He did not disassociate himself from any particular group, nor did he turn away anyone or think he was better than others. Jesus showed the love of the Father by caring for people, talking with people, eating together, healing people and not condemning them. The only crowd he had a problem with was the religious leaders of the day who thought they were so much better than everyone else because they focused on the rules. Their reasoning was they did not do the ‘wrong’ things and they did the ‘right’ things. They did not associate with the type of people they thought were less religious and unworthy of God’s love. Jesus was always getting on their case for being so religious they were no earthly good to the Kingdom of God.

Speaking of all the different views and lifestyles, I can remember when I was young and growing up in the organized church, how I always stayed with people of similar belief. I do not know for sure if I was actually taught this or it was just a common belief I picked up, but I felt I needed to stay away from people of different views and lifestyles. I still see this in the church today, a separatist mindset.

Sound familiar? So much of the traditional church setting is based on separation from those who think differently. This usually brings a feeling of superiority, being separated from those who need to see God’s love in action, and living a Pharisee-type lifestyle. (Pharisee: strict observance of religious ceremonies and practices, one who adheres to laws and traditions, self-righteous or hypocritical person).

Compare that to the life of Jesus we read about in the gospels, a person who loved people, he was not condemning or unkind, hung out with those who the religious crowd did not want anything to do with, spent time eating and drinking with the non-religious crowd, and truly cared for others.

I know we all see things differently. We will not all agree on things and we all have no way of proving our point in regard to spiritual matters. Yet I think it is time the christian ‘religion’ comes to an end and Christ-like people begin to daily show the love and acceptance of God to everyone whether we agree or not.

Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: jimgordon731@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

You will disagree; it’s how you disagree and move toward a solution!

Solving personal and national differences are similar:

  • Accept that disagreeing is normal. Begin conversations by looking for areas you agree
  • Respond not react to differences. Seek to understand before being understood
  • Stop demonizing by moralizing. Stop claiming your views are morally superior
  • Handle differences with physical and emotional civility
  • Take action. Bad apples must be held accountable

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You know what bothers me? The way we Christians can’t seem to get along.

Now I don’t expect everyone to agree with each other. God gave us minds and personalities and we are all different. But as I read different blogs and postings, I see a trend sometimes that is more than just disagreeing. It seems to get down right ugly sometimes.

Obviously we are going to disagree on things, but can’t we still disagree and yet respect and love the other person? It discourages me so much when I read a blog and go through the comments and see disagreements that turn into arguments. It gets to a point sometimes that I have to get away and stop reading.

I always wonder why it is we just can’t accept each others views and go on. Seems like a lot of people really get upset when they can’t get someone else to think the same way they do. We’ve got to go on and on, trying to prove our point or our way of thinking.

I know when you write a blog you are opening yourself up to comments and disagreements, but do we have to go to some of the extremes of getting mad and losing our tempers because someone else has a different viewpoint.

Aren’t we being just like the worldly crowd? Aren’t we supposed to be known as Christians by the love we have for one another.

Humans are never going to agree with others on every point, but we Christians should be able to disagree with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and yet do so in a way that the non-Christians will still be able to notice that extreme love we have for God and for one another.

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