Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What Is on the Agenda?

Re-Posted from "Meditations of a Charismatic Calvinist Who Does Not Speak in Tongues"

 Christian leaders often say they do not want people in their congregation who have an agenda. What is an agenda, and is it a good or a bad thing? Now it needs to be noted from the outset that it is unreasonable for leaders to expect their followers to be totally plasticine and to conform to everything they hold. Also, the closest approach to this is to have only immature believers who remain immature. Once an individual becomes rooted in the Word of God and tests things by it, they are bound to develop some of their own opinions (Acts 17:11; Hebrews 5:13,14; 2 Timothy 3:16,17). The issue is, how do we make this work? The Biblical picture is that of unity in diversity (1 Corinthians 12:12-26; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 2:1-11). This does not include the acceptance of genuine Biblical error in teaching and practice (Romans 16:17; Jude 3; 2 Timothy 4:1-4). But there does need to be an incorporation of different approaches. The problem comes when someone takes a minor issue and blows it so out of proportion that it becomes their whole focus. This can happen to leaders as well as followers, and for the leaders with this type of narrow point of view, everyone not in agreement with them has an agenda. But there are followers with their pet idea that they emphasize to the degree it becomes the cause of disruption. So one thing we need to do is ask ourselves, what are the things we are going to hold and promote, even if it means alienating others? And it is useful for both leaders and followers to try to synchronize their agendas, and if they cannot, someone may need to seek another place of fellowship. But we must be careful of promoting our pet ideas beyond the degree they really deserve to be defended.

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