Why can’t we all get along?
Living in peace and harmony are lofty goals that most everyone agrees with. Aside from wacko militants, no one says, “I want to live in constant conflict with my neighbor and quarrel with those around me.” No one seeks to start a fight with others, be it verbal or physical. And if an argument or brawl does erupt, they usually feel terrible about it afterwards.
Similarly, when it comes to church, most people say they want the same thing. They advocate Christian unity: seeking peace and harmony, while avoiding conflicts and fights. They want to get along. Right?
But I suspect what most Christians really mean is they want unity with people who think, believe, and act like them. What about those who act differently or think the opposite? Do they really want unity with them? I fear not. What they really mean is they want everyone to come around and embrace their point of view. That’s what Christian unity means to them, but that’s actually “friend unity” and nothing more.
Jesus desires true unity for his followers – all of us. He even prayed for it, that we would be one (John 17:21). I firmly believe God will one day answer Jesus’ prayer for unity; but at the present, we are still waiting. Through the centuries, Jesus’ well-meaning, but misguided, followers have argued with and killed one another over theology, ideology, and alleged heresy. One idiotic example is a church that split over whether or not men needed to wear ties. Really.
Christian unity means accepting and embracing those who think, believe, and act differently. And the breadth of our thoughts, beliefs, and actions is wide.
Christian unity sets our focus on Jesus and nothing else should matter. Beyond that is to love everyone, Christian or not, the way Jesus loves us.
That’s what Christian unity means to me. May I pursue that and model that. Will you join me?