It was comments on another thread that started me thinking about this post today. Paul taught in 1 Cor. 1-3 that we were to be of one mind and one judgment, that we were to all speak the same thing. He spoke against schisms in the body whereby one person holds to the teachings of Apollos, another of Cephas, etc. He points out the immaturity and carnality that is revealed in us as we divide ourselves into various factions and camps. In chapter 2 he gives perhaps the most powerful teaching on the purpose of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit...that we might know the hidden things of God, that we might have the very mind of Christ.
I am all for open discussion of scripture. I am all for brothers and sisters talking about the scriptures, especially those areas where they have trouble seeing the others point of view. I think we need to study the word together and talk about how we see it and why.
Our problem comes so often when we are convinced that the way we have always been taught is absolutely right and the other guy's perspective is just simply mistaken. We hold so tightly to our own point of view. But Paul firmly plants the Holy Spirit in the midst of the discussion of the first three chapters of 1 Corinthians for a reason. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can come to doctrinal unity.
You see, there are not multiple interpretations of scripture. When two of us have opposing views, one of us or both of us are wrong. There is simply no other option. But how do we handle this fact? Do we say, "Well if one of us is wrong, then it is the other guy who is wrong because I cannot be"? Or do we say, "I may be wrong, you may be wrong, but lets both be humble and prayerfully search scripture?
You see, it is more important to be correct than to be "right". I can prove my point and seem right in my eyes and in yours, but am I Biblically correct? I would rather have right doctrine than be able to prove my doctrine right in your eyes.
This requires much humility and a commitment to allow the Holy Spirit to change my mind. This requires great courage because to change my mind on a doctrinal stance may just be to sign my walking papers in the denominational structure I have grown up with. It may mean rejection by man. It may mean that I have to struggle in my mind with the fact that I have always been wrong in an area. It always means that I must be teachable.
We must posture ourselves before God in a stance of total surrender to Him. We must be absolutely willing to have God rock the boat we have always been comfortable in and be OK with that. We must posture ourselves before one another in love and respect and honor. If I disagree with you, I may say, "I think I disagree with you.", but I will never say, "You are just wrong and stupid for thinking that."
This is not an easy thing for us to do. But, if we can spend much time on our knees studying the scripture and be willing to have our mind changed if need be, we will come to a unity, not just of sentiment, but of reality of what we teach and present to the world.