Should I Poison My Dinner Guests?
Some people, coming from Judea,
taught the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the
custom of Moses, you can’t be saved.” This created sharp disagreement
from Paul and Barnabas, and a big debate erupted.
Acts 15:1-2 (mck)
rats are smelly and can do more damage in my workshop than I can. So,
they’ve got to go. Using rat poison, my devious scheme invites them to
be my dinner guests.
our husky with a brain as big as a lima bean, shares my feelings about
pack rats. But her strategy involves chasing them under wood piles and
then standing guard over them for hours. Her policy of aggressive
harassment scares away my clients.
Mona and I are bonded in a common quest: to get rid of pack rats and make this world a better place in which to live. But, though we are both committed to The Cause, we have conflicting strategies.
Christians aren’t supposed to fight, but, as believers, we are highly prone to butting heads, because we care so deeply about spiritual things.
Years ago, Capper’s Weekly reported about Joyce Grimm, from Lucas, Kansas. She was walking across a parking lot when she saw a driverless car. It was slowly rolling out of its parking space.
swiftly ran beside the car, swung the door open, and jumped in. She hit
the brake and brought the rolling car to a halt. As she got out, a man
in overalls approached her. She beamed with slightly suppressed pride
and said, “Well, I stopped the car.”
The man in overalls said, “I know. I was pushing it.”
Joyce and the man in overalls had the same objective: to assist the
owner of the vehicle. But, because they understood the situation
differently, they found themselves working against each other.
Some well-meaning Christians in Antioch
told new gentile converts that they needed to get circumcised, like
Moses taught, in order to be saved. Paul and Barnabas sharply disagreed.
Everyone had the same goal (that the gentiles find salvation) but they
disagreed on how to get there.
issue could easily have divided the church in her infancy. But they
talked it out and got it right: both Jews and gentiles are saved solely
by the grace of the Lord Jesus.
we encounter conflict in the church, a good starting place is to find
where we agree – where we share the same convictions . . . and work from
our shared beliefs rather than our differences.
I believe that poisoning my dinner guests is still the way to go. And I still think my dog is a dingbat for trying to defeat pack rats by intimidation. But we will continue to discuss the issue with an open mind and monitor results. It’s what you do when you’re a partner in The Cause.