(see also CONFLICT)
Several years ago I met a gentleman who served on one of Walt Disneys' original
advisory boards. What amazing stories he told! Those early days were tough; but that
remarkable, creative visionary refused to give up. I especially appreciated the man's
sharing with me how Disney responded to disagreement. He said that Walt would occasionally
present some unbelievable, extensive dream he was entertaining. Almost without exception,
the members of his board would gulp, blink, and stare back at him in disbelief, resisting
even the thought of such a thing. But unless every member resisted the idea, Disney
usually didn't pursue it. Yes, you read that correctly. The challenge wasn't big enough to
merit his time and creative energy unless they were unanimously in disagreement!
Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of
Although George Whitefield disagreed with John Wesley on some theological matters, he
was careful not to create problems in public that could be used to hinder the preaching of
the gospel. When someone asked Whitefield if he thought he would see Wesley in heaven,
Whitefield replied, "I fear not, for he will be so near the eternal throne and we at
such a distance, we shall hardly get sight of him."
W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching
and Preachers, Moody Press, 1984, p. 255.
Charles Wesley wrote some of his hymns to promote his brother John's doctrine of entire
sanctification. The second verse of his "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" asks
God to "take away our bent to sinning." This was too much for Calvinist Augustus
Toplady. In a magazine of which he was editor, Toplady wrote an article in refutation,
detailing a picture of man's potential for sinning. He arrived at the mathematical
conclusion that a man of eighty is guilty of many millions of sins, a debt he can never
hope to pay but for which he need not despair because of the sufficiency of Christ. He
closed the article with an original poem. "A Living and Dying Prayer for the Holiest
believer in the World." This poem, now one of the most beloved hymns of all time, we
know under the title, "Rock of Ages," was born out of party spirit
John Gilman, The Evolution of the English Hymn, Macmillan, 1927, pp.
An amusing news story from Wales told of a feud in a church looking for a new pastor.
It read: "Yesterday the two opposition groups both sent ministers to the pulpit. Both
spoke simultaneously, each trying to shout above the other. Both called for hymns, and the
congregation sang two -- each side trying to drown out the other. Then the groups began
shouting at each other. Bibles were raised in anger. The Sunday morning service turned
into a bedlam. Through it all, the two preachers continued trying to out shout each other
with their sermons. "Eventually a deacon called a policeman. Two came in and began
shouting for the congregation to be quiet. They advised the forty persons in the church to
return home. The rivals filed out, still arguing. Last night one of the groups called a
let's-be-friends' meeting. It broke up in argument." The item was headlined,
"Hallelujah! Two Jacks in One pulpit." It could have been bannered, "Two
Factions in One fellowship."
Years ago, a large statue of Christ was erected high in the Andes on the border between
Argentina and Chile. Called "Christ of the Andes," the statue symbolizes a
pledge between the two countries that as long as the statue stands, there will be peace
between Chile and Argentina. Shortly after the statue was erected, the Chileans began to
protest that they had been slighted -- the statue had its back turned to Chile. Just when
tempers were at their highest in Chile, a Chilean newspaperman saved the day. In an
editorial that not only satisfied the people but made them laugh, he simply said,
"The people of Argentina need more watching over than the Chileans.
Bits & Pieces, June 25, 1992.
Veteran American League baseball umpire Bill Guthrie was working behind the plate one
afternoon and the catcher for the visiting team was repeatedly protesting his calls.
Guthrie endured this for a number of innings, and then called a halt. "Son," he
said softly, "you've been a big help to me in calling balls and strikes today, and I
appreciate it. But I think I've got the hang of it now, so I'm going to ask you to go to
the clubhouse and show whoever's there how to take a shower."
Bits & Pieces, June,
1990, p. 13.
Statistics and Stuff
The way we generally strive for rights is by getting our fighting blood up; and I
venture to say that is the long way and not the short way. If you come at me with your
fists doubled, I think I can promise you that mine will double as fast as yours; but if
you come to me and say, "Let us sit down and take counsel together, and, if we differ
from one another, understand why it is that we differ from one another, just what the
points at issue are," we will presently find that we are not so far apart after all,
that the points on which we differ are few and the points on which we agree are many, and
that if we only have the patience and the candor and the desire to get together, we will
Woodrow Wilson, Bits & Pieces, September 17, 1992,