There are certain positive actions that all of us as adult Christians can and should take if we are determined to help ease the tension over issues like the future unfolding of God’s plan or the age of the earth (areas that we disagree on):
(1) Determine to understand opposing views better and why they are held.
(2) Determine to be less caustic about other evangelicals and their views when they differ from your own.
(3) Determine not to suspect a person’s orthodoxy because he or she doesn’t agree with you.
(4) Determine to cooperate and build fellowship whenever and wherever possible with those evangleicals who hold different views than your own.
NEGATIVE ACTIONS NEEDED
(1) Avoid majoring on minors.
(2) Avoid unwanted dogmatism and conclusions.
(3) Avoid a holier-than-thou attitude.
(4) Avoid giving the impression that you have all the answers and others have all the problems.
(5) Avoid thinking a view must be without problems or it can’t be right.
An epithet appears in a Latin treatise designed to uphold Lutheranism and at the same time call for peace in that church. This treatise reportedly was published in Germany sometime between 1615 and 1630. The message of the poem is most fitting for our day as well, especially in regard to differences over God’s plan for the future. I can’t think of a better suggestion for action than this. Translated into English it reads:
“In essentials unity. In uncertainties freedom, In all things love.”
*SOURCE: Adapted from pp. 185-86 in The Last Days Handbook by Robert P. Lightner. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990.