A dispute arose when some Judeans taught that Gentiles had to be circumcised to be saved. Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to discuss this situation with the leaders there. After the Jerusalem council made its decision, Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch with the news.
I’m sure that at the time, this was a highly debated topic – not just whether Gentiles should be circumcised, but how this new preaching intersected with Jewish tradition. I imagine that when people met up together, they would debate the merits of each side, even within the Church itself.
To resolve this growing issue, the apostles and elders met in Jerusalem. After discussing the issue – and hearing from both sides – they decided that Gentiles need not be circumcised to become a part of God’s people. Letters of this decision were sent to churches.
Nowadays, we have our fair share of issues that give rise to heated debates and disagreements. But we should follow this example and let the elders of our churches make the decisions. Yes, we all have opinions, but these men have been anointed and chosen to lead God’s flock, and as such, it’s not so much what I think, but what God asks of me through my pastor and the church elders. If there is a social or religious issue that you’ve been on the fence about, yield to what your church elders teach, is the correct way.
Note however, that in this day and age there are a lot of false prophets and leaders, so as always, make sure to filter everything through the Word of God before accepting it as truth!