Viewpoint and disagreements.

With apologies to Dr. Henry T. Hodgkin a medical doctor and Quaker missionary in the early 1900’s, I wish to share with you a philosophy that he wrote just prior to the first World War.  He was a true pacifist and was feeling the brunt of the national ardor of becoming part of the War of all Wars. It speaks to me as what a Christian attitude should be.  I have taken a little license to paraphrase his text to bring common vernacular and understanding. It is primarily what kind of attitude one should have when confronted by someone with a differing opinion.

  1. I will always seek to discover the best and strongest points to any brother’s position.
  2. I will give credit for sincerity and persistence in opinion.
  3. I will try to avoid classifying him and assuming that his position is only because of a class or membership of which they belong.
  4. I will emphasize our agreements and convergence points.
  5. When others criticize, I will try to bring out favorable points.
  6. When there is misunderstanding, either I of him or he of me, I will go to him directly.
  7. I will seek opportunities to pray with him.
  8. I will try to remember that I may be mistaken and that God’s truth is too big for any one mind.
  9. I will never ridicule another’s faith.
  10. If I have been found criticizing another’s viewpoint, I will seek the first opportunity of understanding if my criticism is just.
  11. I will not listen to gossip and second-hand information.
  12. I will pray for those from who I differ.

Arguments rarely solve anything. It is when the rational and reasonable come together willing to listen and understand other points of view that change will happen.

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One thought on “Viewpoint and disagreements.”

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