I'm Right, You're Wrong, and Jesus is Sad
It's an interesting time to open and run a Christian bookstore. Online retailers had closed every other Christian bookstore in Northwest Arkansas. A global pandemic had crippled the supply chain in a lot of industries, including books. Inflation had run rampant, causing people to pinch pennies as prices rose. Politics had invaded every aspect of our lives and polarized people on everything, including the issues our books address.
We've observed that inflation seems to have affected more than just the price of stuff, and politics has polarized people beyond issues of public policy. Love is expensive right now. It's in high demand and low supply, the belief being that if you disagree with someone you must dislike or be harsh with them too. If we allow every disagreement to justify the breaking of fellowship we will never experience biblical fellowship. You are unique and you will never fully agree with anyone on everything.
Pedantic (adj.) - 1) of, relating to, or being a pedant; 2) narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned; 3) unimaginative, dull.
Pedantry is one of many things that interferes with Christian fellowship. It is certainly one of the most prominent right now. There comes a time for standing fast on truth. There are core beliefs central to the gospel that we cannot compromise. Then there are opinions on other things for which four words could be the difference between fellowship and a broken church: "I could be wrong."
Those four words are often frowned upon today because they show weakness, but there is actually a lot of safety in those words. Remember the words of Jesus:
"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge you will be judged; and by your standard of measure it will be measured to you." Mt. 7:1-2
When we pedantically hold to political and other opinions that are not central to the gospel and breaking or preventing relationships as a result, we are making judgments. One day, God will make some judgments about us. Let us be judged on our grace and not on our opinions. When we stand before God, let us plead grace and receive grace. Let's not be like the ungrateful servant who begged for much grace having given little.
We could be wrong.