Must Christians Agree on Everything?
info This commentary was written by a volunteer for our Bible translation project. It’s not an official view of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.
At Exodus 23:2, we read these wise words:
‘You must not join a mob to do bad things,
Nor should you agree with the majority when they are wrong.’
In Greek, this reads:
‘Ouk esemeta pleinon epi kakia ou prostethese meta plethous ekklinon meta pleinon oste ekklinai krisin,’
‘Not join the/majority on bad or go/along with the/majority’s inclinations with many that are/inclined/toward judgment.’
Agreed, the words are different, but the thought is the same.
However, most ‘Christian’ religions do in fact teach that among their leaders, the minority must agree with the majority to show harmony… as in a form of Democracy.
And to prove that this is the right thing to do, religious leaders like to quote Paul’s words as found at 1 Corinthians 1:10, which say:
‘Now, through the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, I want to encourage you brothers to all teach the same things…
There shouldn’t be any divisions among you.
Rather, you must all learn to think the same way and to share the same opinions.’
So was Paul encouraging Christians to go along with the majority even when they are wrong on doctrines or other spiritual issues? Those that are in charge like to tell us that this is so, but God’s commandment at Exodus 23:2 says that this should never be done.
So then, was God contradicting Paul?
Notice the problem that Paul was discussing at 1 Corinthians 1:11-13:
‘For those of the house of Chloe have told me that you do a lot of arguing, my brothers. What I mean is that some of you are saying, I follow Paul, or I follow Apollos, or I follow Cephas, or I follow the Anointed One;
So, the Anointed One is being divided.
Paul wasn’t hung on a pole for you, was he?
Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?’
As you can see, Paul was addressing a situation in the Corinth congregation where the group was becoming divided into various sects or followings. And what he was saying, was that they should be trying to find harmony in the teachings of Jesus, not that they should follow the majority, right or wrong.
So there should be unity in TRUTH, not in following the crowd.
For a related discussion, please see the commentary, What is Truth?