Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. (Romans 14:10)
When I was in college, I took a philosophy class in Logic where we studied the differences between strong, medium, weak, and deductively valid arguments. We also studied the art of crafting and presenting arguments. In other words, how to formulate a strong premise to support one’s conclusion. As part of the class, we studied the views and arguments of various political, ethical, and moral opinions in order to identify and understand what makes a strong argument and what makes a weak argument. An assignment the professor would periodically give was to have us write a brief essay arguing for or against a particular position regardless of our own personal view. The idea was to encourage us to try and accurately understand an opposing point of view.
This exercise can still be helpful, especially as we continue to deal with the challenges of COVID. Putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, getting inside the mind of those who do not agree with us, can help us extend grace and, if done with humility, can cause us to realize that maybe our side does not have all the answers or has not thought through all the possibilities. However, serious differences which threatened to divide the Church is nothing new. Differences within the Church have been ongoing since the first century. One such instance is dealt with in Romans 14.
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