No, this blog has nothing to do with Honda – although, if they’d like to sponsor us, they’re welcome to send a check.
An “accord” is not something you hear about very often. It’s a fancier – and cooler – word for a peace treaty. Maybe you’ve heard of a “peace accord” – like the Camp David Accords or the Oslo Accords. Or more likely, you’ve heard of the Sokovia Accords: an agreement signed by 117 nations after the destruction of the nation of Sokovia to rein in the actions of unrestrained vigilantes.
It sounds pretty great – unless you’re on #TeamCap and believe in freedom (‘Merica!). Go see Captain America: Civil War to find out what I’m talking about.
Well, the accords we’ll be talking about will not involve 117 nations or even Tony Stark (although Caleb sometimes acts like him). Instead, we want to address the need for “accords” within the body of Christ.
There’s been a split in the church that’s been growing wider over the years. We’ve noticed it in our home church, and I’m sure you’ve seen it in yours.
Historically, this shouldn’t be surprising. The church has always struggled with unity. From the days of #TeamPaul vs. #TeamPeter at Corinth, the people of God have always tended to form factions.
If you’re a church history nerd like myself, you can study the various church councils and see major splits on points of doctrine. Then you get into the Middle Ages with bishops and popes excommunicating one another until Luther came around and made it even worse by starting a Reformation. Yet even the Reformation saw its divisions, with Luther vs. Calvin and later Arminians vs. Calvinists.
Lincoln was right: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Oh wait, Jesus said that. And His words ring true to this very day.
The reason divisions happen so often among believers is because Satan knows this is a great way to distract the church. He can make a church ineffective simply by stirring up controversy over this or that.
Now, some divisions are good. I’m all about separating from heretics. But unfortunately in the era of church-splits or church-hopping, many divisions are not over vital doctrines but over personalities and preferences.
In our modern era, the split in the church is not between Peter-fanboys and Paul-lovers, or between Arius and Athanasius.
Rather it’s a generational battle – old vs. young. Millennials vs. Boomers/Xers.
And it’s developed into outright war. We even call it the “worship war.” But the battles are beyond just music – the old and young seem divided on practically every issue.
Our goal is not to say who’s right. God’s Word has plenty to say if people read it, and many of the issues that divide us are trivial at best and downright ridiculous at worst.
Our goal instead is to attempt to bridge this widening gap and speak to both sides. To do that, we’ll need writers from all different ages (if you have a two-year-old who’s good at writing, please let us know). At first, Caleb and I (Matt) will write back-and-forth each week. But we’d like to start including different voices to speak to this subject.
What will it take to end the inter-generational struggle? What do we need to do to address this growing divide between millennials and the “old people”? How can we seek to understand each other? How can we develop inter-generational relationships? Can we be as Paul exhorts the Philippians – “in full accord and of one mind” (Phil. 2:2)? It’s these questions we hope to address on this blog.
And hopefully, by the end, we can have the “Church Accords,” signed and ready to go. Without any need for a Civil War.
Lay down your electric guitars and hymnals. It’s time to come to terms. Come to the negotiations table.
It’s time to embrace a God who knows no age.