Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Harmony in God's House

(This is the sermon I preached on November 25th. Our congregational identity survey had revealed a variety of opinions and ideas about the direction of the church. The message was given in hopes of helping people see how we should react and respond to each other when we have differences of opinion in the church.)

Romans 12:16 - Live in harmony with one another.

Pastors are reporting an outbreak of a disorder in their churches: RHD
RHD = Relational Harmony Disorder
And researchers are already at work to develop a little yellow pill to cure it, the proposed name for the new pill - Harmonex.

Harmony is the pleasing combination of elements into a whole.
It requires both diversity and unity. If you have only diversity, you will experience discord.
If you have only unity, you will experience unison. Harmony is the result of developing unity in the midst of diversity. Harmony, therefore, is hard work. That is why choirs and bands have to spend so much time practicing together.

Seven Steps to Harmony (from Romans chapters 14 & 15):

Hold back judgment on matters of opinion - 14:1
Avoid looking down on those who aren't up with you - 14:3
Realize that you live to please the Lord first - 14:12
Make sure you don't cause others to stumble - 14:13
Only do that which leads to peace and accord - 14:19
Never make a big deal about your personal opinions - 14:22
Yield personal preferences for the common good - 15:1

God doesn't expect nor want "unison" in the church. But because we haven't learned how to have "harmony" together when we don't have "unison" we often resort to quarrels and fights.

Good Church Motto: Everyone has their say; the majority gets their way;
and after the vote, the minority gets on the boat.

Two Questions: Are you doing everything you can to bring harmony in God's house?
If not, what do you need to change about your attitudes, your actions, and your words?

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