If the Holy Spirit is our Guide to the TRUTH, then why do Christians Disagree on Many Issues and Doctrines? (Guest post by Dan Tsouloufis)
While it is true that Christians often disagree on secondary or peripheral issues (which can be challenging for sure), it is also true that most Christians do agree on the central, core doctrines of the faith, such as the deity of Christ, and the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
For these doctrines, I do believe the Holy Spirit does bring people together, since these doctrines specifically pertain to Christ. This is because ultimately, Christians put their faith and trust in Christ — not in the Bible, or in creation, or in the Church, or in doctrines such as predestination or eschatology, etc. It is Christ that Christians put their faith in. Thus, our unity is in Christ — not necessarily in everything else. Moreover, every person is finite, every person lacks complete knowledge, and every person is a sinner; so we’re not all going to see eye to eye on some things.
Therefore, it is true that Christians don’t agree on some things, just as agnostics don’t agree on some things, just as atheists don’t agree on some things. For example, regarding the topic of evolution, I’ve read enough of evolutionary theory to know that there are differing views on both the nature and scope of evolution and the mechanism of evolution. Certainly, most agnostics and atheists hold tightly — very tightly — to some theory of evolution, since, after all, without God, it’s the only game in town, and they know it. Yet, as we all know, the theory of evolution has very little to say about the origination of life from non-living matter (and I have very little concern that evolutionary scientists are going to solve that dilemma).
So while it’s understandable that serious disagreements among Christians can be a barrier to faith for some unbelievers due to the confusion over recognizing which doctrines are true, this does not in any way negate the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding us to the truth and convicting us of our sin. This is because something can be true whether or not we’re able to recognize it as such. Any such limitations are on our end if our opinion on something happens to be contrary to reality. As I mentioned earlier, every person is finite, every person lacks complete knowledge, and every person is a sinner. Hence, our inherent limitations.
Lastly, as we’re able to observe the reality of human nature, the overwhelming, undeniable, and obvious doctrine of the sinfulness of humanity lays to rest any notion that: 1) man is basically good (he is not), or 2) that there is no such thing as good and evil and right and wrong. First, there is not an ounce of proof, and never has been, that man can do the right thing all the time (let alone think the right way all the time). And second, people inherently know that there is good and evil and right and wrong, because no society — let alone one family — can thrive, or even function, in an environment where these notions are either indistinguishable or neutral. Thus, something has to account for the dilemma of the sinfulness of humanity, and something has to offer an ultimate solution for the dilemma of the sinfulness of humanity.
Personally, I think Christianity offers the best explanation and the best solution for this dilemma. I’ve studied enough of other religions and worldviews to know that they do not offer a better or more plausible explanation for this dilemma.