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.


One thought on “Viewpoint and disagreements.”

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