Next it was circumcision. The leader of the early church in Jerusalem, Jesus' brother James, was a strict adherent to Jewish law. He believed others coming into the faith should do the same, and that adult males needed to be circumcised in order to come into the fold. Paul disagreed, arguing that the old laws were not needed. This contributed to the long standing argument concerning faith and works. It got to the point that James sent missionaries out to the towns where Paul had been, trying to bring them over to his point of view. Paul finally went to Rome, in part due to his frustration with the church in Jerusalem.
This, of course, is just the beginning. Like all major religions, Christianity has had to deal with disagreements, whether they concerned the nature of Jesus (divine or human), the power of relics, or who should have the ability to read and interpret the Bible. More recently we see disagreements concerning the role of women in the church and whether people of the same sex can marry one another in either civil or religious ceremonies. Disagreement also characterizes much in American politics these days. Perhaps the antidote to some of this disagreement is found within a saying attributed to Jesus in the earliest of the Gospels, Mark. When asked what was most important, he said to love God and love your neighbor. This saying has deep Jewish roots, so would have resonated among Jesus followers. Remembering these words, and our long history of disagreement, may give us some perspective. They may also help us to tone down the rhetoric a bit.