Diversity of perspectives and opinions are always welcome here. We encourage dialogue even when it includes agreement or disagreement with us or with one another. When doing so, it is helpful to keep in mind the way in which we agree or disagree with one another. How we dialogue is an act of discernment and an act of love.

Agreeing and Disagreeing in Love
Commitments in Times of Disagreement

from the Mennonite Church (español y english)

“Making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3), as both individual members and the body of Christ, we pledge that we shall:

In Thought

1. Accept conflict. Acknowledge together that conflict is a normal part of our life in the church. (Romans 14:1-8, 10-12, 17-19; Romans 15:1-7)

2. Affirm hope. Affirm that as God walks with us in conflict we can work through to growth. (Ephesians 4:15-16)

3. Commit to prayer. Admit our needs and commit ourselves to pray for a mutually satisfactory solution (no prayers for my success or for the other to change but to find a joint way). (James 5:16)

In Action

4. Go to the other… Go directly to those with whom we disagree; avoid behind-the- back criticism. (Matthew 5:23-24; Matthew 18:15-20)

5. In the spirit of humility… Go in gentleness, patience and humility. Place the problem between us at neither doorstep and own our part in the conflict instead of pointing out the others’. (Galatians 6:1-5)

6. Be quick to listen. Listen carefully, summarize and check out what is heard before responding. Seek as much to understand as to be understood. (James 1:19; Proverbs 18:13)

7. Be slow to judge. Suspend judgments, avoid labeling, end name calling, discard threats, and act in a non-defensive, nonreactive way. (Romans 2:1-4; Galatians 5:22-26)

8. Be willing to negotiate. Work through the disagreements constructively. (Acts 15; Philippians 2:1-11)

In Life

9. Be steadfast in love. Be firm in our commitment to seek a mutual solution; be stubborn in holding to our common foundation in Christ; be steadfast in love. (Colossians 3:12-15)

10. Be open to mediation. Be open to accept skilled help. If we cannot reach agreement among ourselves, we will use those with gifts and training in mediation in the larger church. (Philippians 4:1-3)

11. Trust the community. We will trust the community and if we cannot reach agreement or experience reconciliation, we will turn the decision over to others in the congregation or from the broader church. (Acts 15)

12. Be the Body of Christ. Believe in and rely on the solidarity of the Body of Christ and its commitment to peace and justice, rather than resort to the courts of law. (1 Corinthians 6:1-6)

Adopted by the General Conference Mennonite Church Triennial Session and Mennonite Church General Assembly, Wichita, KS, July 1995 (Mennonite Website)