How can you disagree without being disagreeable? Today we’re going to talk about something very common in human experience: everyday disagreements.
I’ll bet I’m talking to somebody right now who’s had disagreements, because everybody’s had disagreements with other people. Disagreement is a part of life. It’s not just our enemies that we disagree with. Many times it’s our own friends, it’s our own loved ones.
A skill that everybody needs in life to succeed in their relationships with everybody would be the ability to disagree without being disagreeable. Which means you have to add a touch of love, which means respect and consideration and patience with those with whom you might disagree.
I just got a wonderful example from somebody who recently communicated to me that they disagreed with me and wanted to tell me. And I just thought their letter was just a perfect example of how to disagree without being disagreeable. I was not offended by their letter even though they disagreed. I was actually blessed by it, and so blessed that I actually thought, “I’m gonna use this in a Little Lesson as an example of how to do it, how to disagree without being disagreeable.” This dear person wrote to me in disagreement over one of my Little Lessons, the one that I did just a few weeks back asking the question, “Can Mormons be Christians?”
If you did see that Little Lesson, you know that I answered it by saying, well, yes, it’s possible for a Mormon to be a Christian as long as they truly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and, therefore, that faith is reflected in a life of obedience to His commandments. And even though they may have additional baggage in the way of wrong doctrine and even spurious doctrine, it doesn’t go against the fundament fact that Jesus is the Son of God. And if you talk to any Mormon or go to a Mormon website and look for what they believe about Jesus Christ, they’ll say that He was the divine Son of God who died on the cross for our sins.
Now, they might have some other beliefs about Jesus that you don’t find in the Bible, but “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life.” That’s the criteria that God has set to have eternal life, to believe in Him. If you have to believe in Him in such that your doctrine about Him is perfect, in other words you have no misconceptions about Jesus in any way, you perfectly understand His love, you perfectly understand His justice, you perfectly understand His past, you perfectly understand His future, you perfectly have the doctrine of when He’s coming back figured out, if that’s what God is saying there, then probably very few of us are actually going to inherit eternal life.
That’s why I just look at the entire Bible and see that God is a good God, a God who wants to get people into Heaven, and people who believe in Jesus, He gives them His Holy Spirit and it transforms them and they become lovers and givers and that can happen in many different contexts. Look at your own life. The day that you believed in Jesus, did you have it all figured out about Jesus? Did you know Him perfectly? No. Now, hopefully over the years you’ve grown in your understanding of Jesus and you got closer and closer to your understanding of who Jesus really is and everything about His character and personality and so forth, but I’ll bet you’d be humble enough to admit that you may not have it all figured out yet.
All that is to say that’s my premise, but a person wrote to disagree with me about the Mormons and I’m not going to be able to finish their entire letter in this Little Lesson, so this is going to carry over into the next Little Lesson. But you’ll be blessed by this just as I was blessed by this because this is a great example of disagreeing without being disagreeable. This person wrote, “I attend a church with a couple who formerly were leaders in the Mormon church. They found the real Christ and started a ministry.” Praise the Lord!
“The true accounts they would tell you would make your skin crawl.” What she’s saying is these former Mormons, that they could tell you the inside story. I even mentioned that, I think, in one of my videos. I have friends out in Utah, for example, who are pretty familiar with the whole Mormon thing and they’ve told me there’s a dirty underside to this. There’s a dirty underside to every denomination, let me tell you. My goodness. Anyways, putting that aside, “The kind of other Jesus they speak of is not Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. Please read to the end.” Okay.
I keep saying “she,” I don’t even know if it’s a she. Their name is the letter K, didn’t give me the full name. I’m just gonna say it’s a she, but it could be a he. Could be Kevin. Could be Kathy. I don’t know. But, “Please read to the end.”
I can tell where she’s going with this, that, “David, you said Mormons can be saved because they believe in Jesus, but the Jesus they believe in is not the Son of the Living God.” Well, okay. But in my investigation, they say, they believe, that Jesus is the Son of God. I see it reflected in their behavior. That belief affects those who truly believe it, and it affects how they live their life.
They’re not adulterers, they’re not fornicators, they’re not liars, they’re not swindlers, they’re moral people because they believe in Jesus Christ. That’s where I’m coming from. This person’s coming from a whole different area. Now here’s the next sentence of this fine letter, and I’m using it as an example of how to disagree without being disagreeable, “Jesus plus anything isn’t belief unto salvation.” Okay, there’s the premise of which the rest of this argument is built on. But again, not said in a demeaning, insulting way, said in a very nice way.
Now, I actually disagree with that premise, as well. That would be a premise. Jesus plus anything isn’t belief unto salvation. If you are believing in Jesus and trusting in Him, but if you’re trusting in anything else to any degree, you’re not saved. That’s the premise. If you have your faith in Jesus 99%, for example, and have 1% of your faith in something else, like your works, you’re not saved under that premise. I disagree with that premise, but I respectfully disagree.
Now, we’re out of time. Oh, my goodness, I should start a video series called Long Lessons! Big, Long Lessons! Alright, well, stay tuned. I’ll see you next time. We’ll pick up right here.