How To Achieve Unity

Paul (the apostle) tried very hard to promote unity in the early church. Every thing was so new. They were figuring out things as they went. Paul was not the only evangelist. There were many. They didn’t always agree.

I started thinking about this during today’s message at church. I know, thinking in church is even worse than thinking in school, but I do that anyway.

What about within a congregation? That is mostly what Paul was addressing. 

There seem to be two ways to achieve unity in a congregation (or any smaller organization).

One way would be to reduce the size of the organization. Let those who disagree with the majority or leader or whatever move on. Perhaps the leader intentionally encourages them to move on. Perhaps they just don’t feel welcomed.

I’ve been around the block a couple of times. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon. Eventually you get a group that agrees or silently goes along. Therefore, we’ve achieved a kind of unity.

Seems to me there is another way. I think I’ve been influenced by Paul and James, but mostly by Jesus.

We need to focus on the core beliefs. There are opinions that are just not going to be agreed upon by everyone. That’s life.

In a church, the core belief agreed to by all denominations is the belief that Jesus lived, he died, and he was resurrected. 

Some go searching the scriptures for all manner of rules to follow. Or odd quotes to pull out to reinforce prejudices. It’s when we place those rules above the gospel that we get into trouble.

It’s like a dear old Baptist lady who bought her new Catholic friend  a Bible. She thougtht she would look inside the Catholic Bible to see what it was. She was astounded to discover that it was the same as hers.

We can build on that unity by emphasizing the core beliefs upon which we are agreed. Then remember and practice the continual injunctions in the New Testament about love. Then reach out beyond cultural and doctrinal divides.

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