Why Did We Have That Fight?
I’m currently attending General Synod, the annual meeting of our denomination. On Saturday night a historic decision was made: the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) voted unanimously to “act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel them to act separately.” (By the way, this statement is known as the “Lund Principle,” which has been very important in bringing denominations together. You can Google it for more information.)
The reason we are separate denominations is that in 1857 some people left the RCA to start the CRC because they disagreed with a few things. We have continued our separate journeys since then. Here’s the funny thing: we no longer remember why we separated. Whatever it was that was so important back then has receded into history as insignificant.
This plays out in our personal lives as well. How many times have we had a disagreement escalate into a fight, only to look back and say, “What started this anyway?” Or “I can’t believe we were fighting over such a small thing.” It is sad to think of the number of relationships that have ended, institutionally and personally, over things that no one can remember or that seem insignificant with the passing of time.
I think we would do well to remember the counsel of Ephesians. It says that we are to “speak the truth in love” so that we are “building up” one another and are being “knitted and joined together.” (4:15, 29) This means that if the truth we want to share doesn’t lead to these things, maybe it isn’t a truth that needs to be shared. It’s not that we shouldn’t share difficult things. But we should always do a gut check to see if what we want to share is to knock down another or if it is to pursue a relationship. In the end, our disposition means everything!