Stabilizers are generally interested in consensus. They look into a difference of opinion and see common ground. They are vital to a negotiation where the goal is to reach an agreement. The church needs its stabilizers, lest every minor controversey end in division. As Jesus would say, "Blessed are the peacemakers ..."; or the Apostle Paul, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Moreover, while he agreed with those who believed in their freedom to eat meat sacrificed to idols, he also chided that it was not worth causing their weaker brethren to stumble: "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification."
On the other hand, destabilizers are also important to a successful negotiation, because someone needs to make and defend the case before the stabilizers give everything away in their pursuit of consensus. The gospel itself is fundamentally destabilizing, beginning with a very radical premise: that an infinite, eternal, unchangeable God will judge man for his sin and rebellion! Both Jesus and Paul, their quotes above notwithstanding, were themselves highly destabilizing where they needed to be ("I did not come to bring peace but a sword"), and both ultimately paid for it with their lives. When it came to the core principles of the gospel message, they stood firm, often resorting to passionate and "destabilizing" language, whether speaking to the enemies of God: ("You brood of vipers! "); the troublemakers in the church, ("I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!"); or the church itself, ("You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?")
So clearly there is a time for everything, to build and to tear down, to keep and to throw away. Wisdom is knowing which is which. When do godly men need to be destabilizing: to tear down, throw away, and draw a line in the sand, saying "this far and no farther!" (or, alternatively, "we must go farther!")? Alternatively, when is the time to stabilize: to build, keep, and bear with one another's weaknesses?
One historical example may help illuminate this problem: Luther and Calvin were highly destabilizing in a necessary way, but were their differences over Christ's spiritual presence in the Lord's Supper worth the deep and enduring schism that resulted between these two great Reformers and their followers? Would not a stabilizing influence have profited the church more at this key point?
The problem of the stabilizer in a negotiation is that he will give away too much in his pursuit of an agreement. For the Christian stabilizer, it is that he will compromise until he has lost all his principles. Unity will become the overriding goal to the detriment of truth, which will ultimately ends in ... well, something that looks a lot like Unitarian-Universalism: there is no Truth ... there is only "truth for me" and "truth for you".
The problem of the destabilizer, of course, gets this exactly in reverse, and truth becomes the only worthy objective. Besides unnecessarily dividing the body of Christ over minor differences in theology or method, the destabilizer unguided by love and the Holy Spirit can easily become the dogmatic. The "truth" he so ardently defends may actually be falsehood, because he knows everything he needs to know and no longer learns from God.
Consider this an "open thread" and record your thoughts below in the "comments".