My husband and I, for the most part, can usually find movies we are both interested in watching. The only genre we usually have to avoid is comedy. We just do not agree on what is and is not funny. If a movie stars Seth Rogen or Will Ferrell; I guarantee my husband will love it. He just loves movies like The Hangover. At the risk of sounding like a prude; that’s not my style.
A few years ago, my husband wanted me to watch a movie called The Interview with him (and of course, Seth Rogen was in it.) My husband insisted I would love it, but I had heard that line a time or two before. Let’s just say I had my doubts. I watched it, though, and it actually wasn’t terrible. (Don’t tell my husband I said that. It’ll go to his head.)
There’s a scene in the movie where James Franco’s character says “they hate us, cause they ain’t us.” Now, I’m not really going to write an entire blog based on a one-liner from a comedy, am I? Oh, yes, yes I am!
Okay – in all seriousness, I really did want to address this topic. When I was preparing for this blog, that scene from the movie came to my mind. So, you see, it all works out.
Sometimes, we get it in our head that if we face opposition; it must be because we’re right and they can’t handle the truth. Or the other person is jealous. Or they’re just hateful. Or that we’re being persecuted. Or something. There are times where that may be the case, but not always. I see this all the time online. People just assume that any sort of correction or disagreement must be persecution or hatred.
Now, to be clear, there are folks, online and in real life, that are just being hateful and nasty. You could say the sky is blue and they’d argue it was red. You could post a picture of your dog and they’d say you have a hatred for cats. We all know the type. And yes, there are absolutely folks who pick fights. Again, we’ve all experienced that.
We also need to understand that disagreement and hatred are not the same thing. Just to give one example, I’ll pick on my co-host and fellow blogger, Jon Watson. Jon Watson is a paedobaptist. Or as I like to say: a baby dunker. I’m a credobaptist. This is an issue on which Jon and I disagree. He is still my brother in Christ and one of my favorite people, to be honest. I have absolutely no hatred in my heart for Jon, even though we disagree on baptism.
It’s very easy to take disagreement as a personal attack. Because we feel like we’re being attacked, we get defensive. We can disagree with a person’s beliefs and ideas without hating them as a person made in the image of God. It’s easy to let our emotions get the best of us, sometimes.
It’s also very difficult for us to evaluate ourselves critically and objectively. Jumping in to defend ourselves is a much easier route to take. Especially when it comes to theology and doctrine, we take disagreement very personally because what we believe about our God and His Word is being questioned. A negative response is understandable. If we could, however, just take the time to hear what the other person is saying; we may find they’re making a valid point.
On the flip side of all this, we also don’t need to be cruel, especially if we’re confronting someone. If we’re being very prideful and haughty when approaching someone, we need to repent. If we do need to confront a brother and sister, it should be done in love, and we should be prayerful through all of it.
To distill all this, sometimes when folks disagree with us – **wait for it** – it’s just because they disagree with us. It may not necessarily be a sign we’re being persecuted like Jesus. There is always the possibility that we could actually be wrong, too. For the record, I’m speaking to myself, too.
Suggested Reading: “Just be nice” is not the Gospel, BUT…