I believe that there are really three solutions that are available to us. We can choose to break ties and leave the relationship, we can choose to submit to whomever is the decision maker, or we can choose to stay, but continue to complain about the decision.
But what does the Bible say about disagreements?
There are many statements about how a group should interact. There’s discussion of it in multiple levels in God-ordained roles. God talks about how a person should react in the family, in the church, in the workplace, and in the government.
In The Family
We’ve been discussing in our Godly Wife/Godly Husband posts the fact that God-ordained men as the spiritual leaders of the home. Contrary to what I gather Molly is talking about over on Adventures in Mercy, I don’t believe that it’s something that a woman is, but what she is commanded to do and to be. She was created as man’s helper, and she is to be in submission.
Man has the ultimate responsibility and will be held accountable for how his family is run. It’s a test for whether the man is capable for spiritual leadership. It’s his job not to provoke his children to wrath.
The wife is to submit to her husband’s leadership in the Lord. But would this be appropriate submission if she says “I’ll do this, but I do not agree with it!” How about if she mutters under her breath, or talks to the children or other wives/family members about how she’s doing it, but does not agree with it.
Certainly, this is anti-biblical. Submission, in this case, means that the family must ultimately go where the mother/father direct, and as the God-ordained head of the family, ultimately where the husband leads.
In The Church
The church is an interesting creation. It was founded by Christ, lead by the apostles and pastors, who in turn created an office of deacon for service. We have since (because of our familiarity with American democracy, made pastors subject to boards of deacons or to the congregation as a whole. I challenge you to find one instance where a New Testament church had the arrangement where they determined who would lead them, or asking a pastor to leave because they disagreed with him.
Again, Christ laid the responsibility of guarding and guiding the Christians in his care to the Pastor– and if he’s been given responsibility without authority how can he carry out his God given mission.
If the Pastor is not acting in sin, promoting sin, or calling sin good, who are we, the congregation, to disagree. Granted, a Pastor cannot see all aspects, should be open to advice, but when those in leadership of the church choose a direction, those in the church should submit to that direction. Disagreement on a matter that is not heresy or apostasy should not be something that one leaves a church– there’s a pride issue with the person that leaves the church over a preference.
In The Workplace
We are to be submissive to our employers since they are our authority. God tells us that we are to be subject to our bosses (masters) even if they are froward or unkind. You see– God is glorified by our reaction of submission even in difficult circumstances. Look at how Christ reacted to the leaders even as they were crucifying him. He was silent. He was respectful– but also told the truth. You never seem him screaming about the injustice that was being performed. You don’t seem him griping about what was happening to Him as He carried His cross– He knew it was part of God’s plan, and He submitted to it.
How effective would we be in our jobs if we submitted– even when we believed it to be the wrong policy.
In The Government
We are called to obey the speed limit– seriously! We are commanded by God to obey those with governmental leadership over us. In fact, in verse 2 of Romans 13, it says that resisting the power over us is resisting an ordinance of God. Think about that the next time you’re doing 70 in a 65. That law comes from God.
For all of these, the comment, “well, everyone else is doing it or does it” does not hold any weight– for we are to be different from the world. We’re to be a people that attracts others to God, that holds a high standard, and that makes God look God. A humble person who obeys the law, follows the direction of his boss, supports his pastor and maintains appropriate leadership in the home will be a good steward of the life God has given him.