Two top thinkers in the world discuss this in NYU. This is a treat.
Elsewhere, for another blog, I was writing on how unity can be brought about from great diversity, and what motivates me to put my life to this cause. I wanted to respect exactly that: the diversity of ways this might be achieved, and so I didn’t explicitly state how I think the [evangelical] Christian worldview best equips people to do just that. But for those who are interested, here are some quick thoughts:
- Only the Christian worldview has its foundation as a perfectly diverse community (Father, Son, Spirit), united as One (a Triune God). If this is the core of how a worldview works, you could expect this to be mirrored in society by Christians.
- Only the Christian worldview has a founder (Jesus) who lays down His life and His rights for a disunited people (his enemies), and says He’ll give them a power within themselves (individually and as a community) to live in light of that, seeking the needs of others first, as He did.
- Only the Christian worldview gives an identity in life (in Christ) that has no link to any earthly kingdom, but still gives great reason that we ought to attempt in His strength to transform communities until a new Heaven and earth appear
- Only the Christian worldview explains our longing for something better. Why ought the world be better? Why ought we aim to cause good and not evil? The Christian account of how the world came to be (regardless of how that looks scientifically, which I’m happy to discuss) has the world as a beautiful ruin. Beautifully made, but ruined to its core. And so we should expect to see both of those present in everything: beauty and ruin. Or as Pascal said, glory and garbage.
If any other worldview does any of those things, I’ll be happy to stand corrected! Sadly, this is not to say that all 4 of these have been lived out by local Christians.
We see Christians forgetting that we are all unique and different, and trying to force a theocracy on everyone. Ultimately the “god” they force on everyone tends to look a little like themselves, and thinks that way too!
We see Christians wanting to fight for their rights first, even when that comes at the expense of others. Perhaps some who take their privileged status in the west, and never seek to constantly be looking to bless others from it.
We see Christian DUP fanatics claiming that their identity is primarily in Christ, when all they speak of is politics and vilifying the “other” side. Equally I see evangelical Sinn Fein supporters in Cork who would advocate taking up arms still against the British.
We see Christians who refuse to see good in other worldviews and political opinions. Who make straw men arguments and vilify others. They see everything as black and white, so their cause is easier to defend. They forget we’re all beautiful humans with some good and some bad. They forget we’re all ruined with some ruin in our own views/thinking.
What might this look like?
Well it looks diverse. It could mean being a left-wing councillor of Sinn Fein in west Cork (who I’ve sat next to in church), being a right wing conservative (David Quin of the Iona Institute), or being a middle of the road, centre-ground person. But whatever it looks like, it’ll mean first of all having our identity in something not of this world, but in someone who will come and re-create all things.
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death –
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
The thick arm slowly contracted around my neck, squeezing just a bit too much for my liking. The hearty laugh of the large figure who was keeping me captive once again boomed out over the countryside of west Cork “you British planting parasite, I’ll kill you one day when I come with my army!” I didn’t care to lift my Irish passport, nor scold him in Irish for his banter. My crime? Suspicion that my schooling in east Belfast, my sporting associations (playing hockey), and my mixed family backgrounds made me one of the “other” side.
That was Seamus*, my good friend, and my teacher of Irish history from a different perspective. Driving home from the heart of west Cork to my home in Cork city, I’m in a contemplative mood. Putting Seamus’ jokes aside, there are still many deep divisions on this island. We don’t need to point fingers at Trump’s sweeping generalisations about certain demographics of the world population, to see fingers pointing back to us, asking us what we’re doing about the division we’re part of. The division that remains far longer that it should, because we consider our only political action is voting. And then we sit in despair for four years and wait. We mock those “other”s who we voted into power and pretend they’re very different to us. Horrible people, those politicians out there!
But it doesn’t need to be politicians, or for that matter the paramilitaries who bombed my Dad’s shop twice, or the lads who held me up at knife point at the local pitches when asking me what Scottish team I supported (Aberdeen FC, for the record). We’re quick to cause division regardless of the topic.
So how can we get on together as a society?
Some of it I suggest comes in understanding each other. Perhaps sitting side by side in education and seeing each other as normal human beings might be a start. But more than shared experiences, Jonathan Haidt, a democrat and social psychologist in the US, has written a book that has address this very topic. In his book he makes the case that we first understand we’re not as rational as we’d like to think. We often make gut instinct decisions and then rationalise them afterwards. Like a tiny rider (our reason) on a lumbering elephant (our emotions) walking along a tricky path (circumstances of life), we often struggle to end up bringing about the change we desire and get where we want to go.
He also suggests that as those on the left and right of the political spectrum we have different values that mean we talk past each other a lot of the time, as if the “other side” are just stupid and morally deficient. It’s easier to throw metaphorical (or in our case physical) bricks at the opposite side, than it is to sit beside them, put our arms around each other as humans, and help each other move towards a shared future of unity amidst diversity.
Grasp these two things, and a lot of what will be “successful” in election campaigning will make sense to you, and you’ll be better equipped to sit down and work out what would be persuasive to those of diverse opinions.
I help to lead a team of people, running various community spaces in universities and cities across Munster. Each week, hundreds of people from various countries, counties, social backgrounds, races, political views and worldviews all pile in to events. And when I say events, I mean more communities. Communities that aim to break down walls and integrate everyone into a society that will help everyone stay in a learning posture.
My one problem is that it’s hard. Loving people who are different to me is difficult. I’d rather find people of like mind, and enjoy a whale of a night out with them. To find ourselves in a place where we’re naturally rubbing shoulders with every type of person regularly is a rare opportunity that I’ve been blessed with, that is not realistically achievable for everyone.
Why do I have this desire, and what ought to motivate us to get on and do this?
I’m sure there are various answers to this, and so I won’t bore you with mine (you can find it here, if you are interested). But I’d challenge you to ask yourself whether your worldview that you hold to, will give you the motivation to spend an other-person-centred life, serving the needs of society in its full diversity (and not just forcing a uniformity of thought on them all)? As the university I work in says:
There’s nothing like making a few Donald Trump jokes. That was the mood my house were in this morning. A friend, staying over last night was quick to google search “Trump jokes” probably to lighten a fairly gloomy mood on a rainy, cold, winter’s morning in Ireland, when you’ve just learnt the news of the US elections. But sadly googling that is exactly why I think most of us Europeans are no better than the mud-pie slinging Americans who are sitting in their polemical political camps, throwing things at each other from a distance.
This is a book review of “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt (Penguin books) which has been one of my top-reads in the last year (and for those of you who know how avidly I read, that says something!). Jonathan is an academic social psychologist, but also an American Democrat. But if that would put you off, please don’t let it – he writes purposely to describe how he thinks we can sit down side by side and talk constructively in the political and religious realm, instead of just talking past each other, and mis-understanding the “other” as just something from our nightmares.
He follows on from other recent works in social psychology (and perhaps goes back to agreeing with Aristotle and many before) to persuade us that we’re not so rational as humans as we’d like to think. As an intuitionist about moral values, Haidt thinks that “the emotional dog wags the rational tail”. His thoughts have been previously well drawn on in other works such as “Switch” (another must-read in my opinion, for those wanting to learn to bring about change in this world), but makes a convincing case, even if you haven’t read them. (A video here to explain.)
Once he has convinced us of this, he then spends some time trying to look beyond our blind spots to see how conservative and liberal minds think morally. Summed up in these two diagrams, this powerful analysis would help people at opposite ends of the political spectrum to not just throw mud-pies at each other, but to understand that there may be strong rationale why people vote certain ways on certain issues, and how we can appeal to other voters and talk in terms that are meaningful to them.
Once we understand these frameworks (for which he gives evidence in the book), and seem (intuitively!!) to me to be correct, we can start to talk.
Thirdly, Haidt goes on to argue for evolutionary group selection. Given how much common populace reading (think Dawkins’ Selfish Gene and others) has derailed such concepts, it was eye-opening to me to see him advocating for such and suggesting that others will/do. Perhaps I’m just behind on the academic thinking at the moment. Through this, he tries to argue that anything that binds us together in social groupings could be for the advancement of society. This would help an atheist to see the good of religion, as well as democrats to see and start to understand why having republican groupings might be good (and vice versa for both).
Finally he applies it concretely to life. There are not those who are “good” and those who are “evil” as we so often like to pretend (we, or anyone who agrees with us, of course, are the good). There is good and evil in everyone, and we must sit together and learn from each other. Admittedly he says, it will be hard. And if this election is anything to go by, the elephant has chosen the easy path, which is sitting in our camps yelling loudly.
Perhaps it’s the one fault of this book. By it’s own theory (part 1), it will be virtually impossible to enact. We are too emotionally driven to see its sense. But for those who wish to see unity, I suggest this book is remarkable and well worth the read, particularly if you are a leader wanting to bring about change, or someone so frustrated with an “other” side of a political or religious grouping that you can’t fathom the attraction of it or how to bring about change.
(NB: for those concerned or persuaded that his group evolutionary thought may mean Christianity is a mere social construct, I can point you elsewhere.)
Tonight I drove home past the University College Cork campus. At times I stopped the car to avoid running over drunk Freshers stumbling out onto the road on their way into town. On their way into a university experience they’ll never forget (apart from on the morning after).
If my case for it being a lonely world or one where we struggle to look past convenient relationships with people like us, was merely a whisper, then surely these patterns of life are the screaming of similar yearnings on our hearts.
The rhythm of university life for so many.
Or so the saying goes. One of my old university hallmates still ushers in each month typically with the facebook status:
But the joke is that we all know, he knows, that come next week, he’ll be posting the same thing again. But my point in saying this isn’t to rant against such things. You can find enough of society doing that elsewhere.
My point is that the fact we delight in this pattern of life (and 80% of students do,) illustrates that we seem incapable of looking outwards to people who are different to us, to appreciate them, unite with them and get along with them in very real ways. We struggle to even do it in a university scene where we’re all like each other!! The joke about Irish lads like myself is that we need 3 pints before we’d even talk to a woman. And there’s a reason why that story has come to pass. Our unity seems to come at the expense of everything apart from our drunken experience, which is our one uniting factor.
(And for those who don’t drink as much, like me, let us not think any more of ourselves…once the proverbial party bus leaves the university halls of residences, you rarely get a buzzing community of other-person-centred people appearing to unite for the evening. On the times we did, we tended to all sit round and focus on our homogony “we’re not common people like those clubbing types, we’re so very different!”. The irony didn’t strike us.)
We seem incapable of having motivation and desire to look beyond ourselves (apart from maybe the very few of us who’ve been raised in very diverse settings, but we couldn’t expect that to be replicated worldwide for everyone).
And from what I can tell it’s two or three main things that we struggle with as we consider how we can be united in our diversity:
- we struggle to be vulnerable and admit weakness or neediness
- we struggle to see others’ cultures or strengths and are quick to think highly of our own (we’re blind to ourselves)
- we struggle to know why we should bother to look outwards if we’re not harming anyone
It’s why when I’m travelling there’s always the draw towards the Irish pub in the city. Familiarity. A place where “the craic” will be mighty (as we say). A place we can find comfort and feel at home in. It’s the reason a hotel resort where I never see a foreign person, or have to speak in a foreign language is often what we opt for. Neither are inherently wrong, and so I’m not making a moral judgement on those who, like myself, lean towards these at times.
But what will help us do these three things? For one, the answer that I attempt to start (you’ll be pleased to hear), isn’t found in religion as we’ve seen in Ireland.
Yesterday I discussed how lonely it can feel in life at times, even in the midst of many people. Today, let me describe the difference using an accelerated example: an international student.
You’re far away from home, foreign language and foreign culture. You’ve just realised us Irish aren’t as friendly as Lonely Planet and the travel guides make us out to be, especially when you’ve announced your intentions to stay here. And so you think about hanging out with other international students, because they’ll understand. “They’re people like me”.
You head down to the local Language Exchange night at a local pub. There’s a great buzz. You meet a few more internationals, socialise as much as you can in that environment with poor english and loud music, and call it a night when most people seem to be paying more attention to you as a female to flirt with, than as a human being. The morning after you’ve not many more genuine friendships, but you’ve had a whale of an evening that’s given you a relational high, enough to go back next time. And good news, next time you recognise a couple of people, though conversation seems harder with them now you know the basics – where do you go from here?
Alternatively you go to the far smaller, far quieter, weekly International Student Cafe in a rented hall nearby. You’re greeted by a mixture of local people (team members) of various ages, and other students from far more varied cultures than were in the pub (Muslims, mainly the difference). By uni standards it’s a tame night. But a fun activity/theme, took away the pressure just to make brilliant conversation and allowed personalities and diversities to shine through without too much stress. A chance to chill over tea, coffee and an international snack soon had us in stitches with our mis-communications to each other. This certainly was a socially less extroverted group, but nice none-the-less. Going home, it was nice to have had a different night but nothing incredible. Would I go back? Perhaps if there wasn’t a better, cooler option. Until…
Well, then I got a text the next day asking me whether I’d go for a run and a coffee at the weekend. I hadn’t realised the guy at the cafe did running like me. Actually, I hadn’t realised much about him as he’d always been asking me good questions about what I liked, come to think of it. And so we did. And I came back the next week to cafe as a result, though I stayed a bit longer to help clear up afterwards. After all, they seemed a very nice bunch, random as they were.
And then the next week I went on a trip with them to some stunning coastline (they don’t make profit, interestingly) nearby. And before I knew it I was organising one of the week’s themes in my own culture.
What seemed like quite an ordinary cafe started to grip me. This wasn’t just one person who was like me, who took interest in me. This was everyone there. And I could see it was starting to change me and the others there for the better. I was thinking mid-week about how I could show interest in their lives too. I mean, was this friendship? But it was so random, so….different!
So what makes this difference? This very real community?
Well, I’ll save my thoughts for next time and in the mean time, thoughts on the back of a postcard to me please!
PS: I hope I haven’t been too harsh in characterising other language exchanges and international groups in this city. Some of what they do is fantastic and will have helped develop leadership/entrepreneurial flair in those leading, helped other make friends, find love and much more. And most of what we do relies on them to take away most people from us (it wouldn’t work with more students currently). So thank you! I’ve always pointed people towards you and what you do and spoken highly of you, and still will. And find any of us on an off-night and we’ll be just as self-centred as anyone!
Community is a buzz word of late. But for all the buzz, for most it’s a little bit like looking behind a facebook profile into the messy reality of what lies beneath. Many are lonelier than ever before. And I know what it feels like. Especially when I’m travelling.
I grew up in Belfast (Northern Ireland), studied and worked in Nottingham (England) and now am into my fifth year working in Cork (Ireland). By this stage I’ve lost contact with most of those I grew up with (by living a flight away from them for 5 years), and haven’t done any better with my uni friends (yip, still a flight away). Starting afresh in a new city, new culture, new job and new everything (it would seem) hasn’t been easy even for a fairly outgoing social person like me. I guess working evenings and away from home hasn’t helped.
I’m happy playing in sports clubs, I’m grand sitting in pubs, I love a classical concert but nor do I object to dancing the night away on a dancefloor til the “wee” hours. Happy chatting deep philosophy or bantering the night away on a surface level. I’m happy in most place to be honest. But it’s still hard.
I’d love to say it was because young professionals are few and far between in Cork, but I’m not sure it’s true. Or that there aren’t the places to hang out and meet people, but there are. So why do most of us in the city that I’ve talked to find it so hard to make friends?
Perhaps the post-uni relational lows of not having endless free-time, not having clubs and societies that meet in convenient times and locations to us, not have common experiences of everyone leaving home and being thrown in together. When we don’t have people perfectly like us around us, we struggle.
The more the years go on, the more I see my friends looking to live by themselves. Why? Well I think partly because living with other people (even good friends) is hard. They find those they live with are not like them. In tiny ways, but enough that irritates them after a long day at work.
And the more years go on, the more I see sex being assumed in every young professional’s friendship in the city. Not because we love someone. Just because it’s fun, it’s an escape, and it may just cement a friendship and make it work. So often the same people who’ve offered me sex, are the ones next month offering someone else. Not because they’re desperate for sex per say. Or because they’re horrible people (in fact, quite the opposite).
But because they’re lonely.
Unsure what they’re looking for.
And so I think people are always surprised when they find real friendship. And mistake it for romance unless they see that every member of several communities that I’m part of the city are offering that kind of friendship. Very real community. And it’s beautiful to be part of (though far harder to cultivate).
I’ll come on to some of what I think that looks like tomorrow.
[EDIT: For those not expecting this on my blog, please do excuse my brief foray into Christian theology and unity, as I’m preparing for a meeting tonight. Normal service resumed soon!]
Previously (here) I’ve set-up the problem of evangelical unity on mission teams and suggested that there are 3 ways potentially to solve it. I use examples of female speaking, power evangelism (healing alongside verbal proclamation) and holding events in pubs. For models 1 and 2 and 3 see here and here and here.
What model would I use? I think in the ideal world for Cork city-wide events of 2017, we’d use the third model and seek to love each other generously as below. But sadly given the battle is still raging within each of our hearts to be other-person-centred, sometimes it must fall back to other models, or whoever is leading the team.
Unity vs. Mission isn’t a choice Jesus gives us.
“Father… I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21 ESV)
Jesus prayed for a unity that is: • Doctrinal • Relational • Missional
It’s doctrinal – its a unity “just as” the Father and Son are united. Everything we do flows from our personal knowledge of God, as revealed in the Scriptures and experienced by the Spirit’s indwelling.
It’s for relationship – “be one” – not just formal or functional but friendship.
It’s for mission – observation of it makes the gospel believable.
The story of the UCCF is part of a story of the revival of evangelicalism around a renewed confidence in the authority of Scripture and the centrality of the cross sparked by a move of the Holy Spirit at Cambridge University in 1919.
The basis of the UCCF is intended as an inclusive basis – deliberately non-specific about many important issues. I wont pretend it’s always used well – but the intention is to gather not to exclude. We speak of it as The Doctrinal Basis of The Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship of Christian Unions. A basis of fellowship, rooted in doctrine. The personal knowledge of God as the basisof relationships for the sake of mission together. This is churches united, family together.
With some variation in phrasing its the same basis as most evangelical churches and the Evangelical Alliance use. Its standard mainstream Protestantism. The goal being to unite as many as possible to give as many as possible the opportunity to respond to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Most division in CU’s is reckoned to concern the CU’s weekly Team Meeting… which represents about 1.5 hours of the 168 hours in the week! Anything that’s only about 1% of our time isn’t something to fall out over.
Today’s top issue is often whether women can preach, followed by the use of charismatic gifts (the latter was the hot issue when I was a student 15 years ago). Neither is unimportant but neither should be allowed to divide our witness. (For what its worth I think in most CUs you see a pro-women speaking pro-charismatic position today… but it comes and goes like the tide, driven by the local church scene in most cases.)
1. Do make much of the gospel.
2. Don’t pretend these “non-gospel” issues aren’t important. They are.
3. Do be ultimately generous on “non-gospel” issues. Rather be wronged for the sake of gospel-loving and gospel-mission. Don’t say – Unity only if we do the “secondary things” my way.
4. Do keep it in perspective. No one is obligated to be at everything the CU does – though learning to bear with others a little will do wonders for your Christian character.
5. Don’t bind your conscience too tightly on “non-gospel” issues – recognise that thoughtful evangelicals come to a range of conclusions on the roles of women, on divine sovereignty, on charismatic gifts, on baptism, on church practice, while still holding firmly to the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
6. Do embrace diversity in team meetings and in mission. By all means possible let’s take the gospel to people.
Much as what happens at a weekly meeting matters I’d like to ask whether we’ve crossed the divides that The Cross bridges. A university is inherently elitist – but when you’re in church do you connect with non-students and non-gradautes? What about your non-student neighbours – have you considered how to love the young family or pensioner living on your street? And in and out of University what about those of different ethnicity. A Christian is a global person but are we?
The real issue is us – as our new hearts battle with our old flesh. The only answer is to repent to the crucified Christ and see more of the Spirit’s fruit in our lives. Death to self and life in Christ is the only way to real unity. The big issues of unity are LOVE ONE ANOTHER… BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER… PREFER OTHERS AHEAD OF YOURSELF… RATHER BE WRONGED… We might like to fight our corner on x,y,z doctrines of church practice – but love is a primary gospel issue.
I’m the big problem when it comes to unity, because I love things to be done my way. And I seem to find it so easy to say to someone else – “you’re not really welcome here” rather than letting myself feel uncomfortable.
In Christ, I’ll make the first move to relationship.
In Christ, I’ll only compare the worst of me with the best of someone else – rather than vice versa.
In Christ, I’ll go out of my way to be generous.
In Christ, I’ll show hospitality to those unlike me.
In Christ, I’ll be quick to repent, quick to forgive.
In Christ, I’ll be slow to assign bad motives.
In Christ, I’ll rejoice WHENEVER Christ is preached, even if the motives are bad.
In Christ, I’ll assume difference gives me an opportunity to learn before it gives me the opportunity to say I know better.
In Christ, I’ll defend those I disagree with because I’ll have befriended them.
In Christ, I’ll pursue unity so that the world might see the Triune God – the Father at one with his Son.
Christ himself was wronged for us in his death and when we share in his death we begin to get the kind of unity that makes no sense apart from Christ. A unity that exists as we collaborate in mission, standing shoulder to shoulder loving one another. A unity that is not necessarily doing everything together but pulling in the same direction, on the same team – no lone rangers. Christian Unity is participation in the divine life.
We sabotage our mission when we spend our time in-fighting. The answer isn’t divide, it’s learn to love and find our unity in the unity of the Father and the Son. Then the world will see…
Previously (here) I’ve set-up the problem of Christian unity and suggested that there are 3 ways potentially to solve it. I use examples of female speaking, power evangelism (healing alongside verbal proclamation) and holding events in pubs. For models 1 and 2 see here and here. Here I will examine a third approach:
Decide that no matter what the issue, those leading can practice what they want, as long as it is still keeping the main thing, the main thing and within evangelicalism’s bounds. Want a female speaker to give a prophetic utterance in a pub? Be my guest! It’s allowing all things in love
What are the advantages of this model?
- It seems to allow for diversity with a unity. Some would say the other-person-centred-ness of it is the very thing we find in the Godhead.
- it helps people see what and why others believe what they believe
And the disadvantages?
- again, it’s tricky to define evangelicalism in doctrine and emphasis and very easy to condemn others if some fractional thing is seen to be unbiblical in someone elses’ theology/practice
- it is hard. To be asked to positively support people who are doing things that you’ve consciously decided are not merited or are unbiblical, is hard. In practice this often ends up with everyone doing their own thing separately and yet claiming unity.
Previously (here) I’ve set-up the problem of Christian unity and suggested that there are 3 ways potentially to solve it. I use examples of female speaking, power evangelism (healing alongside verbal proclamation) and holding events in pubs. The first model can be found here. Here I will examine a second approach:
Work out what you’ll concede to each other for the sake of the gospel and realising that you’ve already got the main thing in common. Perhaps there’s one event all year that would work amazingly better in a pub than it would elsewhere? Perhaps female evangelists and female testimonies can be prioritised over and above female Bible teaching? Perhaps offering to pray for healing after you’ve been chatting to someone may be good, but not as the first emphasis of why you speak to them? It’s about finding a middle ground.
What are the advantages of finding a middle ground?
- It probably makes everyone feel slightly uncomfortable and doesn’t seem to favour one “side” over another (apart from perhaps those in the middle ground!).
- It seems to be where some lowest common denominator stuff drifts to anyway, by natural.
And the disadvantages?
- it’s quite hard to define what the middle ground is. What is the spectrum of true evangelicalism? How can you have a half-way house on some issues? Does going half-way on healing completely defeat the purpose of it to start with?
- Are people bound by this half-way mark to all start teaching and agreeing with it, or does everyone teach what they think, but then resign themselves to a middle ground for the mission?
- What is the middle ground if 15 people want one thing and 3 want another? Do you go 1/5 of the way towards the other side?!
Can I further add again, that this is NOT discussing what issue is right, simply how we can unite people on a mission team who are already determined that Scripture says their position is right, on a given secondary issue.