Agree in the Lord

(Tim Ramey) #1

A while back, our Bible memory group, while memorizing Philippians 4, came across this verse that has given me much to ponder in regards to our relationships as Christians. Php 4:2 “I entreat Eu-odia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.”

The verse evoked two questions. First, what does it mean to agree in the Lord? What points are mandatory to agree on? Simply on heretical issues? What was Paul primarily concerned by seeking help to have these women agree?

Which leads to the second part of the question and that is, are the dynamics within Connect intended to have a Q&A - questions are asked and the right answers are given? Or is the objective, through interaction, to discover answers together?

Recently a sister in Connect that did not see eye-to-eye with me wrote, Proverbs 27:17 " Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." That proverb is so familiar but it struck me that, though we are made of the same composite as Christians, we can either rub against each other, sharpening one another or we can rub each other the wrong way.

What issues are so paramount that an agreement in the Lord is necessary and is the intention to get answers or to dive into the deep pool of the fellowship, aiding and encouraging each other into a closer relationship with Jesus?

(Tim Ramey) #2

It’s odd that I am responding to my own post but I think it even more peculiar, with all of the folks joining Connect by the droves daily, that no one would not has a thought about what it means to agree in the Lord. And what strikes me as particularly strange is I’m asking how “right” answers are arrived at in Connect. Do we ask a question and boom - the answer appears or do we go on a quest together via discussion to respectfully throw out options and build on those responses?

I’m not sure if there is a hesitancy on the part of all of you who recently signed up to just glean from others responses or if you think those that do make remarks are scholars and you feel inferior. It’s one reason that I post is to give others confidence that, “oh, I guess that you don’t have to be a scholar to submit a post!”

We all need each other because we are the body of Christ.

(SeanO) #3

@Tim_Ramey The nature of the disagreement between these two dear sisters is uncertain - it may have been doctrinal or it may have been a personal disagreement for other reasons. By exhorting them to be ‘in agreement’ and be of ‘one mind’ Paul is urging them to set aside their differences, whatever they were, and to once again work together for the sake of the Gospel.

We cannot know what Paul wanted them to agree about because we are not given enough information, but it is clear they had some form of dispute and Paul wanted them to set it aside in Christ.

That they be of the same mind - That they be united, or reconciled. Whether the difference related to doctrine, or to something else, we cannot determine from this phrase. The language is such as would properly relate to any difference. Barnes Notes on the Bible

Euodia and Syntyche were two women who seem to have been at variance; probably deaconesses of the church. He repeats, “I beseech,” as if he would admonish each separately, and with the utmost impartiality. in the Lord—the true element of Christian union; for those “in the Lord” by faith to be at variance, is an utter inconsistency. Jamieson Faussett Brown

I cannot speak for others, but for myself Connect is a place where we seek truth in community, each encouraging one another and sharing knowledge as we are able.

(Kathleen) #4

Hi, @Tim_Ramey! I did want to say that your initial post really did strike a chord with me, particularly as a moderator…and particularly this question…

It’s a bit of both. It is our hope that Connect is a place where one can respectfully listen to and share their perspectives with other Christians. As each person on here in a unique individual coming from a particular culture and generation, we strive to be a community that celebrates our unity in Christ despite that diversity. Especially in a world being increasingly polarised, we hope that this community, among other things, can be an example of group listening well to one another and engaging respectfully in both agreement and disagreement.

It can also be a place to ‘glean’ like you mentioned. A good number of things have been revealed to us, so it’s good to read through what we can know and remind and encourage one another of those things. I find that I sometimes get so stuck in my own perspective, that a fresh set of eyes (or 10!) is of immense value. :slight_smile:

(Matt Western) #5

Hi @Tim_Ramey I like Connect because, even after 40 years growing up in church and learning more each day - I hear someone say something which makes me go ‘hang on’ that doesn’t sound quite right. It prompts me to go back and have another look at the Scripture passage referred to and strengthen my own faith.

I’m not a scholar but am I guess ok at logic - and like to quietly read the logical and philosophical discussions on how to reach people who disregard the Bible as an ‘ancient book written by bronze age sheep herders’ - but really have not read it themselves. I did the intro course because I wanted to share Christ with secular atheists primarily, and just starting to understand the basics and love learning more each day. I find this Christian community good because in a smaller church, there are not many people who are able to discuss the hard questions at the level of this forum - it’s basically an additional ‘church gathering’ for me.

I was raised as a litteral 6 day creation as very important in my denomination, and it’s been an eye opener on this forum to learn there are 6 or 7 different ways of interpreting Genesis account. @SeanO offered great advice in a post a while back, ‘change your mind slowly’ when it comes to these things. When witnessing for quite a while, I’ve tended to avoid creation vs evolution debates with atheists, and gone a step back to origins: ie: Do they believe in a self-creating universe?

Also another useful post for me in terms of unity vs making sure we don’t compromise on truth (as you say the right answers) was @SeanO in this one below about levels of doctrine. But as you say, yes there are heaps of people joining the forum, and probably feel the same as me, where to jump in and have a go and how to be humble and realise I can contribute a little, but certainly learn heaps… :slight_smile:

(Tim Ramey) #6

@SeanO @KMac @matthew.western

I erased a reply I had begun yesterday as it was outdated. Carson’s A Mosaic of Perspectives answered my response before I could post it.

(Tim Ramey) #7

I’m not sure how to draw attention to this thread but I so wish that everyone joining Connect would read this as is so pertinent to the hearbeat of tis group. If you flipped through the posts and landed on this one, please take the time to read this which is called [A Mosaic of Perspectives] It is lengthily but you will so appreciate it. (A Mosaic of Perspectives)