Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Unity is good theology

Alan posted some thoughts in response to my post, The Assumption of Disunity, with his post Can we begin by assuming unity in Christ?. Like me, Alan sees unity in the Gospel as a non-negotiable that is demanded by the Gospel…
Think about this for a moment… What would happen if we assumed unity in Christ instead of assuming disunity based on our traditions and backgrounds and interpretations? Is that even possible? I think it is…

In fact, I want to expressly state something that I hope has been apparent through my blog posts: If I disagree with you, or if you disagree with me, I do not automatically assume that we are divided from one another because of that (those) disagreement(s). Instead, my first assumption is that we are united in Christ – brothers and sisters – whose bond is stronger than flesh and blood and able to withstand our disagreement.

Idealistic? Maybe. But, like Arthur, I believe that the gospel demands our unity in Christ, and I will seek to live in it.

That reflects where I am coming from. The Gospel demands unity. Real unity, not lip-service. You cannot say “I can’t be unified with that person because of his bad theology” because disunity is in and of itself inherently bad theology.

This is not easy for me! My natural impulse is to find something wrong with what someone says so that I can be proved right. One of the things that really appealed to me about the Reformed church culture (not Reformed theology which I still embrace, but the culture that surrounds many of those who subscribe to Reformed theology) is that smacking around other Christians is something of a favored pastime. Line by line refutations of some Arminian sap is a good and necessary use of ones time. Triumphantly posting a killer post shredding something some theological infant wrote is a source of pride and something that is celebrated and that drives page views. It also is ugly and divisive.

I am trying to move past that mindset and actively seek ways to be united with others in Christ on this side of eternity rather than deferring real unity to the wedding feast of the Lamb. The Gospel requires it and the Great Commission demands it. How can we say we look forward to an eternity with Christ when we refuse to break bread or share fellowship with those we will spend eternity glorifying Him with?

1 comment:

Alan Knox said...


"Unity is good theology." That is SO important, and we miss it! Can you imagine someone saying, "Yes, I murder people, but I don't steal." No! So, why do we think it's okay to stay divided?