Why We Don’t Have to Win Every Argument

post date: March 19, 2007
We have just posted a new sermon on the website:
Here’s an excerpt:
When I lived in Dallas in the 80s, I became friends with Oliver Price, director of the Bible Prayer Fellowship. He wrote a document called Forgotten Secrets to a Live Prayer Meeting. The subtitle tells you what you need to know: "Praying with Christ obviously present and actively in charge." When I first heard that 20 years ago, I thought it remarkable. I still think so today. Embedded in that statement is a truth we seem to have forgotten. If Christ is the true head of the church, then we ought to expect him to be "obviously present and actively in charge" of everything the church says and does. If it is not that way, then something must be wrong inside the church. How can the head not be involved with the body? If my head goes to sleep, my whole body is going to lie down. It’s not as if my head can go to sleep while my body drives a car. Or if that does happen, disaster will be the likely result.
Do we expect Christ to be obviously present in our congregations?
Do we want him to be actively in charge when we meet?
When the body says to the head, "We don’t need you. We can handle this on our own," a total breakdown is not far away.
Behind our divisions and our disagreements, behind our fussing and feuding, behind all our divisive squabbling over secondary matters, behind it all stands a stark truth. We have severed ourselves from Christ our head.
No wonder we have problems.
No wonder we can’t get along.
No wonder we spread rumors.
No wonder we pick at each other.
No wonder we hate going to church.
Good theology can save us, and bad theology will destroy us. As long as we think the church belongs to us, we have to fight for whatever we believe in, even at the expense of the gospel itself. But when secondary issues become more important than the gospel, the church ceases to care about reaching the lost and becomes inward focused. I am saying that it is possible for an evangelical church to become so consumed with inner controversy over secondary issues that it severs itself from Christ.
But if Christ is the head of the church . .
We can trust him to change opinions if they need to be changed.
We can wait for him to do his work.
We don’t have to always have our own way.
We can set aside lesser things for his sake.
We can seek the good of those with whom we disagree.
We can work together for the sake of the kingdom.
And if we must go our separate ways …
We can do it with faith that he has not left us.
We can trust that he will continue to lead us.
We can know that he will do what needs to be done.
We can give up seeking revenge because vengeance belongs to the Lord.
We can resolve to speak good and not evil about others.
We can let go of the past.
We can press forward into the future.
In short, we can let God be God.
And we can say, "Let the church roll on."


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