While unity among his followers was largely realized in the first century that has not been the case in the two millennia that followed. The record shows that Jesus’ followers have been increasingly polarized, divided, and strife-filled.
Although we will never all get along without God’s help, we can be aided by taking to heart the sage advice:
“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; it all things, charity”
Furthermore, the list of essentials should be short. Very short. As short as possible. My list has but one item: to pursue the God who is revealed in the Bible.
That is it, nothing more. Everything else is a non-essential and for that I advocate tolerance along with a generous portion of brotherly love.
It’s a great first step towards getting along.
[The quote is often attributed to Augustine, but there is no support for that assertion. It most likely originated several centuries later, from Peter Meiderlin, a 17th century Lutheran priest.]
[Read more about this in Peter DeHaan’s e-book A Faith Manifesto: A Christian Perspective on Unity and Acceptance.]