Unity. You hear of it often nowadays. There is much discussion of what it requires.
At a recent festival our church attended, we were in the community offering hope and attempting to meet fellow Christians. It was during this experience that many Christians brushed us off as I reached to shake their hand to say “hello” and some keeping me from even taking a breath.
We heard these snarks much of the day. “We have a church!” Or “I know the Bible.” Furthermore, some “Christians” even refused to speak to me and resorted to glaring at me until they were out of sight, thinking that I was looking to “steal church members.” As a church, we had no interest in doing such a thing.
Our goal was to speak the Gospel and fellowship with those that believe and give a message of hope to those that do not believe.
Instead, I saw people pulling at the arms of loved ones saying, “Get away from there! You have a church! It’s [insert Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or Pentecostal] church!”
After these experiences, I saw a collection of bodies and not one ounce of love for a Christian outside of their club.
Another time, when promoting an event recently, we have had local churches staple flyers above our own as if our flyers had leprosy and needed to be covered. This is merely a few of recent experiences that have given me a sick feeling when looking at the local church who have an ungodly disdain for us, as attempt to uphold love for them.
Where is the unity?
Ask many people and they will claim unity comes by accepting each other’s differences. Perhaps.
There is beauty in diversity.
But know this, acceptance brings Christian unity as well, but also forces the hand of rejection as well.
Accepting differences is not the fabric of a healthy church and should not be the exterior fabric paraded.
The Body of Christ accepts that the name and person of Jesus Christ is superior and reigns as Lord, by His Gospel manifested in His death, burial, and resurrection.
There is so much confusion on this topic itself, when Jesus ensured that it be presented simply (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
With this being our foundation, still yet we are not called to acceptance of doctrinal differences, we are called to be of the “perfectly together in the same mind and in the same judgement” (1 Corinthians 1:10).
Read this verse to many a spiritual leader and this would be (directly or indirectly) reasoned as a lost cause. How sad of a predicament?
The Body of Christ is called to be of the same mind, but the Church continues to live separately, unanimously lying to ourselves, calling it unified.
On one occasion, in frustration Paul asks the Corinthian church in their quarrelling, “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:13).
Now, what solutions do I have practically for the chasm in love and truth that stands between fellow Christians?
Nothing immediate. But let me point you the place that has the answers.
Christianity is exclusively composed of right belief and wrong belief.
If the true Body agreed on what is right, then ultimately, they would agree on what is wrong as well. As Christians, we are to contend for truth. The Biblical Church as a matter of fact, although known for unfailing hospitality is told to curb hospital actions towards those who bring false doctrine.
2 John 1:10 states, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.” John makes no delineation here.
The Apostle Paul uses some of the strongest language in the New Testament when defending the primacy of Truth. He proclaims, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).
Yet too often, we make light of such tall orders, knowing full well that unity is in truth, and we are glued together in the bonds of love (Colossians 3:14).
Disunity presents itself as unity, until unity requires disunity from evil.
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” ~ James 4:17
Be on high alert. Guard your hearts and guard the Truth. True Godly, unified fellowship is worth the fight.