Fighting that Fractures Fellowship
In the late 1960s, I commuted to Seminary with an interesting group of want-a-be-ministers. Our carpool consisted of two soon-to-be Senior Pastors, one military Chaplain who would become a denominational servant, one President of an international ministry organization, and one future seminary professor. Four mornings a week, we met at six o’clock, pilled in to one car, and fell back to sleep, while one of us drove the eighty-five miles to Fort Worth for our eight o’clock classes. Around two o’clock in the afternoon, the same guys pilled in to the same car for our return trip, complete with a new wealth of theological information in our brains, which promptly became subject for discussion and disagreement. In fact, I am almost certain that the Southern Baptist Convention controversy/resurgence began in this carpool somewhere between Fort Worth and Waco, Texas, in 1966 or 1967. Strangely enough, with all our disagreements, some of which could have become vicious had the journey lasted another ten miles or so, we remained friends through the years. What a shame that disagreements like ours would later cause multiple strained relationships and destroyed friendships throughout our denomination. Thanks to members of that carpool, we taught each other how to disagree without being disagreeable, how to fight without fracturing our fellowship, how to argue without alienating each other. Our theme verse, had we had one, could have been Psalm 133:1 from the King James Bible, since the other few translations available back then would have been considered far too liberal for our use. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1, KJV).