From Facebook group God is Open:
I’ve found that many Christians think that they are in a group of those that think exactly like they do. Yet there are so many doctrines, from minor to major, within Christendom that it’s a virtual guarantee that no two people have the exact understanding of God and Scripture as any other two. When you start to examine beliefs, it’s soon evident that people you thought held similar beliefs actually hold very different beliefs than you imagined.
This really struck me one time when I was having lunch with a church member and he revealed that he didn’t exactly believe that Jesus had always been God (at least I think that’s what it was…it’s been many years). He was way off from what the church believed, and I realized that what he had told me confidentially (many people seem to feel free to confide their secrets to me) would get him ostracized from the church. Perhaps for good reason too. I’m not arguing that. But I did have the opportunity to help him understand that issue better through careful questions pointing to God’s nature in Scripture.
But even within “orthodoxy” if there really is such a thing in the common sense, there are wide varieties of opinion. If we understand those differences and accept that we are all seeking the truth, rather than getting upset at others with slightly different doctrines, it may help us present the truth in a manner which draws us together than divides us.
The pastor who married my wife and I came from a Quaker background. He mentioned a method they used when they were corporately listening for the word of the Lord. They’d all gather in the meetinghouse and pray about whatever it was on their minds. Then they’d come together and honestly present what they believed God had said. If it wasn’t unanimous, they’d return to prayer, then come together again later to check again. They continued on until all were in agreement.
Now I’m not saying that works. It was rather the attitude displayed. They had a willingness to listen to the Lord with an open and humble attitude together, listening for what God had to say, without dividing over every point.
If believers would approach God’s word in a more peaceful, humble, and LOVING manner, with an open heart toward God, we’d learn so much more and come that much closer to God’s will for His people.