“That They May Be One” posted by jwatson on Mar 14, 2013
I think everyone in the Christian community likes the idea of unity. Didn’t our Lord say that our love for one another would be our identifying mark? (John 13:35) The apostle John had quite a bit to say about love and unity in his first epistle including “…if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another…” (1Jn 1:7).
However, as much as we like the concept, we are often tempted to define unity in a way that fits our preferences. It may be instructive to pull a page from the classic EE training material and see what unity is not:
1) Unity is not mere union. People meeting together may appear to be unified; however, bitter quarrels have erupted when a church begins a second worship service and everyone is not “together”. Unity is more spiritual than physical.
2) Unity does not presume uniformity. God loves variety-He did not create only one kind of flower! The members of the Body may look radically different but they’re still parts of the same organism. (1 Co 12:12-27). Unity is more attitude than appearance.
3) Unity also does not require unanimity, that is, agreement on every detail. That’s one reason we offer EE in so many forms, for use with kids, adults, in prison, among the deaf, etc. It’s also the reason that churches from over 300 denominations use EE. Unity is the willingness to sometimes disagree without becoming disagreeable.
What then is unity? Dr. Kennedy defined it as “visible cooperation in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ”. When His last command is truly our first concern, we achieve unity around a common cause.
In countries closed to missionaries, EE training experiences break down barriers of distrust and prejudice among various people groups leading historical enemies to recognize each other as family. Unity is birthed from cooperative evangelism. Agreement on mission casts petty disagreements to the dustbin.
Newlyweds commit to becoming one and then quarrel over “which one?” Let us truly become one by following our Lord’s example “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).