Episode 18: How to Disagree on Theological Differences

Ordinary Radicals
Ordinary Radicals
Episode 18: How to Disagree on Theological Differences

In this episode of the Ordinary Radicals podcast, Jonathan Hayashi and Brandon Boatner speak on how to navigate through theological differences with other Christians.

Theological disagreement can cause church splits, tear up churches and ultimately jeopardize Christian Unity.


Some highlights from today’s episode;

  • The gospel is the story of King Jesus, God’s Son who came, died, and rose again for sinners, so all who believe, repent, and follow him supremely might inherit the eternal joy in the kingdom of God forever.
  • There is no hope outside of Christ. As the reformer will say, “Sola Christus” which means “In Christ alone”

  • If you try to define the Trinity, you will lose your mind. If you try to deny the Trinity, you will lose your soul.
  • Scripture is inerrant and has no errors. Christians stand on the sole authority of Scripture alone as Scripture is divinely inspired, wholly infallible, and is sufficient for all matters of life.

  • In essentials unity, in the non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.

  • The message of the gospel stays the same, but the modes of the gospel look different over time.
  • Believers engage the ever-changing culture with the never-changing gospels.

  • If its opinions, I should be able to say, “You know, I was wrong” We have lost that as a culture! We can’t admit that I was wrong.
  • Jesus had a Judas Iscariot. There is always one of those in churches as well.
  • There is a massive difference between a critical mind and a critical spirit. The former is wise and humble. The latter is proud and divisive.

  • If you want everyone to be happy, don’t’ be a leader. Go sell ice cream instead.
  • The gospel is the picture of biblical reconciliation. God reconciles us to him, therefore, we ought to be reconciled to one another. If you’re not interested in reconciliation, I’m not sure if you’re interested in the fullness of the gospel.

  • Let the gray be gray. If the bible is gray on it, let it be gray!



Here’s an outline from today’s conversation;

1. Scriptural Command to Beware of False Teachers

– “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matt 7:15).

– “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1 John 1:7-8).

– “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.” (Phil 3:2).

– “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own? (1 Cor 6:19).

– “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was portrayed as crucified.” (Gal 3:1).

– “First and foremost, I urge God’s people… God our Savior who desires for everyone to be saved and know the truth.” (1 Tim 2:1-4).

– “Be careful not to be a stumbling block to the weak” (1 Cor 8:9).


2. It is Okay to Disagree

– “Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways” (Acts 15:36-16:10).

– Disagreement and conflict are not always bad. It may be an opportunity for growth and maturity.

– Disagreement depending on the topic is crucial.


Theological Outline for Levels of Disagreement: 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree

(1). Doctrinal Foundation: 1st-degree theological issues.

– Salvation: exclusivity of Christ Jesus alone (John 14:6).

– “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Eph 2:8).

– The doctrine of the Holy Trinity: “This is my Son, whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17).

– Example with Jehovah’s Witness: Denial of John 1:1 with, “the Word was a god” denied the divinity of Christ.


(2). Disputed Doctrines: 2nd-degree theological issues.

– “Do This in Remembrance of Me” (1 Cor 11:23-25).

– Example: The sacrament of baptism with sprinkling vs. immersion (Presbyterian vs. Baptist).

– “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing roots of the olive tree.” (Rom 11:17).


(3). Mere Opinions: 3rd-degree theological issues.

– “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” (1 Pet 1:15-16).


3. Beware of Spiritual Snipers Ready to Split and Divide the Church

– There are always 10% angry people that feel like the 90% majority.

– “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and slander” (1 Peter 2:1-3)

– Satan is, “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev 12:9-11).

– Some conflicts are not merely bad or unhealthy, it is satanic.

– “Comfort one another and edify one another” (1 Thess 5:11).

– “If brother sins against you, go and show him his fault privately” (Matt 18:15).

– Gossip rarely brings reconciliation gossip that will eventually destroy your church.


4. Unity is Crucial to the Body of Christ

– “By this, all men will know that you are my disciples. If you love one another” (John 13:35).

– Unity is not uniformity. The distinction is not necessarily division.

– “There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope that belongs to your call one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.” (Eph 4:4-6).

– The 35 One Another Ministries: Encourage one another (1 Thess 5:11), prefer one another (Rom 12:10), spur on one another (Heb 10:24)….etc


Resources mentioned in today’s podcast



If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here at jonathanhayashi.com.


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