The Importance of Disagreement and Dissent

"I Disagree" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“I Disagree” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


I’ve discovered in my own life that one of the most powerful things you can say is, “I disagree!”

In fact, I could probably claim that this short sentence, obviously rooted in a dissenting spirit, has gotten me in the most trouble.

I hear it a lot… that I’m disagreeable, grumpy, and a downer. But there’s so much to disagree with! And I’m not being disagreeable because I’m just a stick-in-the-mud, but because untruths are harmful to the human race and the world.

My departure from the ministry and the church was sparked by this attitude and statement of dissent. I honestly felt that my primary job was to weed the garden of weeds and clear it of stones, believing that left to itself with good nutrition and space it would yield great fruit. I can’t stand the attitude, “Why don’t you just play along? Why do you always have to complain and criticize? Trust us. Just give it time and this will all work out. You need to compromise a little!”

I disagree!

I think today, now more than ever, disagreement is not only important but necessary. Dissent is required.

It does take a lot of courage to gather the muster to say “I disagree!” But once you do it’s one of the most liberating things you can say.

A couple things can happen when you say it. One, you can be marginalized and rejected by the community in which you said it in an attempt to silence you. Or, secondly, it can launch a conversation that may help lead to better living for all.

Join a growing group of dissenters at The Lasting Supper. I’ll personally welcome you to the community.


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3 Responses

  1. Jordan says:

    Well, good sir, I completely disagree with everything you have to say there


  2. Brigitte says:

    Maybe repenting is much harder than disagreeing. It kind of means disagreeing with yourself. Which leads to prayer and asking for help.

    In my effort to clean up a shelf, as per usual I got stuck in the effort by some of the reading material. This happened to be a little folder of Orthodox prayers (as in Russian Orhodox and such). It has a morning prayer that goes like this: o LORD, grant me to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely upon your holy will. In every hour of the day, reveal Your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds abs words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray, and You, Yourself, pray in me. Amen.

    There is a lot packed into that, for me. Also for pastors and teachers. Yes?

    Now where to put that thing? I put it here. I can copy and paste it, and have another copy…