How to Fellowship with People even when you Disagree: Practical Tips for Messianics/Sacred Name/Hebrew Roots
In a recent post I listed the reasons why I think Torah Keeping believers in Yahshua are headed the right way. Now I’d like to share some ideas that may help us grow stronger together. We can begin preserving relationships with people who don’t believe exactly the same as us, rather than kicking them to the curb.
Why should we?
We know that God hates it when someone sows division among his people. Breaking up fellowships for reasons that aren’t related to sin, is usually a result of pridefulness and fear. Both of which we should be praying against.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love”
Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood…”
We must remember that even if a person believes differently than us, they are still and will always be family in the Messiah. If someone believes Yahshua is the Messiah and is trying their best to lead a righteous and covenant life, then they are a sister/brother in the faith – whether we like it or not.
One day, in the kingdom, all of Israel will be together, even some of those people that disagreed with you; because Yahweh is gracious to you and to them. It’s a cop out to say you don’t want to fellowship with your family because of a theological disagreement.
How can we do this?
1. Know the reasons to break fellowship
1 Corinthians 5:11“but now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one”
2 John 1 “say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist…Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God…If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.”
Titus 3:10 “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him”
The reasons to break fellowship with a person are:
1. Sexual immortality
4. People who stir up trouble
5. Denial of Yahshua coming in the flesh.
We shouldn’t break up fellowships because of disputes about Paul’s teachings. We shouldn’t segregate based on opinions of scripture. If Yahshua is being proclaimed as the Messiah, the son of God, and we are living in covenant with Yahweh, we are brothers in the Messiah! And we are few and far between, so we might as well stick together.
People are going to see things differently. Who are we to think we’ve got it all figured out? Who are we to judge the salvation of another man? Dividing over which calendar is right or what God’s true name is, is not productive.
2. Make a conscience effort not to become offended or triggered during a disagreement.
This is a difficult one because in our zeal for Yahweh, we sometimes become offended when someone can’t understand our points.
Know that every person will have their own opinion. We needn’t feel threatened by someone else’s belief if we are strong in ours. Practice active listening; you might learn something.
3. Agree to disagree.
We sometimes feel we have to “convert” the other person. But, a lot of times, it’s better to nod and agree to disagree, and turn the conversation elsewhere. You are not responsible for anyone else’s beliefs.
Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”
4. Stop using children as an excuse.
I realize there are some valid reasons to shield your children: abuse, anger, indecency, immorality, etc. And sometimes people just don’t mesh well. But using your fear of children coming to a theological conclusion that is slightly different than yours, should not be a reason. Most children are never going to be exactly like their parents anyway . It’s our job as parents to teach what is correct and to teach discernment. We can’t shelter them from every belief that’s contrary to ours. If you’re watching movies, listening to music or venturing outside of your home at any time, your children will be exposed to different beliefs.
5.Love your neighbor.
We say that a lot, but what does that actually look like when you can’t completely relate to your neighbor?
Here are some questions you could ask yourself when trying to give grace and love when you don’t see eye to eye.
Do I alone possess all of God’s truth?
Does my friend possess all of God’s truth?
Isn’t God merciful to me even though I don’t know everything?
Isn’t God merciful to my friend, though she doesn’t know everything?
Does my friend believe something that warrants the breaking of fellowship according to scripture? Is she living in sin?
Do I really want to cut off my friend because of this?
Do I really want to cut off my friend because I can’t allow him to have his own journey and relationship with God?
I don’t ever want to forget that the whole point of Torah is to love Yahweh and love our neighbors. If that isn’t where our hearts are, we may need to pray and reconsider. One person can’t have all the answers. Someday we will learn everything we need to know.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears…For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known… – 1 Corinthians 13
Until then, let’s focus on building up the remnant of Israel.