Gray Areas of Faith

Gray Areas of Faith

How can we maintain our own convictions without imposing them on others?


Christians disagree. The existence of about 175 different Protestant denominations in the United States attests to this fact. But how do we handle disagreements over things Scripture doesn't cover? How do we maintain our individual beliefs while encouraging others to discover what is right for them?

Table of Contents

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 119:97–102; Proverbs 2:1–9; Acts 8:29–35, 15:1–32; Romans 14:19–23, 15:1–3; 1 Corinthians 1:10–17, 12:12–26; 2 Corinthians 4:6–7; Philippians 2:1–4; Hebrews 10:24–25; 1 Peter 5:1–5; 1 John 4:1–6


• The Issue

Sample questions:

Why do you think there has been so much dissension over how Christians should handle disagreements about "gray areas"?

Habermas mentions four attitudes people may display in discussing a "gray area." How do these attitudes compare with Paul's discussion of weak and strong Christians?

• The Scriptures

Sample Scriptures:

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12–26. What makes our relationships so complex? How can our differences work together rather than separate us? Why is that so hard to do?

1 Corinthians 1:10–17: What happens when we put our faith in leaders instead of in God and follow their teachings blindly?

• The Application

Sample application questions:

Have you or your church been involved in a "gray area" conflict recently? If so, how did you respond? Can you find yourself in one of Habermas's four attitudes?

In what ways can we encourage divergent thinking and the development of personal convictions?


Gray Matters, by Ronald T. Habermas (August 1987, 10 printed pages)

Total number of pages

  • Word Document
  • SMG-CLBS07-D