Hope for Finding Common Ground

I’m always excited to meet other believers in Yeshua, regardless of affiliation or relationship to the Messianic Jewish movement. Recently, we were getting to know another believing family, and over the course of those first few awkward moments of getting acquainted, the young father asked me, “So, what kind of music do you like?” Now, being a musician myself, this was not a strange question to me—in fact, it was one which I could readily answer. Yet within me, it struck a dissonant chord of superficiality. Here we were: two men in Yeshua, two fathers of sons, meeting for the first time, and our best point of connection was the kind of music I like?

While one’s taste in music may be shallow common ground for planting a relationship, believers in Yeshua have been known to build on less. But what about more substantial issues, such as controversial doctrines? Are shared beliefs on things like “once saved, always saved,” predestination, baptism, speaking in tongues, or whether or not Christians are required to keep Torah, enough to establish the foundation for deep, enduring relationships? Or perhaps we can find our camaraderie over slightly less contentious matters, such as style of worship, method of prayer, or manner of preaching?

But what happens when our tastes change? What if our doctrinal perspectives shift? How can a relationship built on personal preference or position papers survive such a transformation? Read more