Despite the mediocrity of the food (next time I'm getting a burger), the conversation was great. These three friends of mine serve as full-time pastors at Ferguson Avenue Baptist Church here in Savannah. I must admit that it is refreshing that we all agree on issues related to salvation; we are all Reformed.
However, we disagree on many things related to the church and the role of the pastor/elder/overseer. For about two hours yesterday we discussed these things. It was not an argument. Rather, it was a healthy dialog about what the church should be. I was reminded that although we disagree on substantive issues, we actually agree on more than we don't. I really appreciated that one of the men said, "You can speak openly here." He said it with a smile on his face as if to tell me not to worry. They weren't prepared with some sort of attack.
I believe I brought up some things that will make them think. They brought up some things that I am pondering today (such as the impact of the synagogue on early Christian gatherings). It is good to be challenged in a gracious manner. They did this for me.
I wish I could say that all my interactions - whether by e-mail, phone, or letter - have been of this kind. They have not.
Back to yesterday. It was terrific. I'm so glad for men of this kind who are willing to just sit down and have a solid and fun conversation about important things. What a relief it was to know that no one was going to get angry and stomp out of the room! As followers of Christ, we should all be able to converse about important things without losing our tempers. That's what the world does. We ought to be different.
I'm thankful to the Lord for yesterday. It was a wonderful reminder of the unity of the church even when we disagree on some things. I hope to have many more conversations of this sort.