Saturday, September 18, 2010
Ferguson on handling disharmony in the Church
" ...I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life." - The Apostle Paul to the Philippians
I have come to the passage above (Philippians 4:2-3) where Paul addresses two women in the church who are at odds. He bids an unnamed member of the church to help them "agree in the Lord".
We all know how hard it is to get along with each other-even in the church, among Christian brothers and sisters. Sinclair Ferguson relays challenging insight in his little commentary on Philippians-
Christian fellowships are often at their worst when dealing with differences of opinion. In some ways biblically-based churches find it easier to deal with false teaching. But personal differences can be almost as deadly, dividing the fellowship, sowing seeds of bitterness, diverting attention from central issues to sometimes petty, peripheral concerns, sucking energy that should be employed in building up believers and in reaching out to the community. How effectively we handle these differences may say more about the biblical character of our church life than how we handle heresy.