There are not too many things in this world more Christ-like then handling disagreements graciously. This is not the norm in the church world, from my experience.
I believe Doctrine to be vitally important in the life of a Christian, and in the life of a church. But what I have seen the more I study the scriptures is that there are many ways to interpret scripture and still love Jesus with all your heart. The more I study and read I am surprised to find out that not everyone believes just like I do, wow amazing! How can this be? How can people survive in this world not seeing everything as I see it? Lol!
I am in my 20th year of ministry this year and I am coming to understand God more and more, and at the same time coming to understand how much I do not know, and how much I yet to learn about Him! 20 Years ago I had God all figured out, knew all that I needed to know to take this world on single-handedly ... and win! Youthful bliss!
There is an area that I think all Christians can grow in, and that is how to handle disagreements graciously. I not only think this impacts our fellow Christian brothers and sisters (wow, that sounded churchy! And a little cult-like) in a positive way, but most importantly when people who are investigating Christianity see Christians getting along. When Christians are fighting or divided I know that the devil is in the middle of it ... loving it! The devil loves division, fighting, envy, strife, gossip and backbiting. I can and do have fellowship with many Christians who see life differently then I do ... this is good and healthy!
This may shock some of you, but we (Mercy Church) have conservatives and liberals attending our church ... I know, I know ... crazy! But it's true! We have all come together to worship God and celebrate His Son Jesus Christ.
"The ground is level at the foot of the cross" - unknown
Challenge: I hope that you are a Gracious Christian. I hope that you do not feel that you have the corner-market on all truth and can learn from others as well as teach others. I hope that you can love those who do not see the world as you do. And I especially hope that you can love those who disagree with you.
Much love and grace!