Home General

0 4193

In everything that has been written on this blog for the past several months, one key factor continues to be the base of every idea. Relationships between us in the body of Christ is the defining factor in achieving unity.

Maybe a better way to say that is that maintaining good and godly relationships with one another is the key to seeing multicultural, multiracial, and multilingual unity manifest itself within the modern church body.

So what does it mean to maintain good relationships with one another? The Apostle Paul has some good insight.

Paul notes his (and God’s) desire that we “all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). We are in the “same mind” and “judgment” when we put Christ first in our lives and continually seek Him. When we strive to be like Christ, all of us are on the same page.

Elsewhere, Paul writes that we must “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3). Relationships are best maintained when we strive to walk in humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance, and diligence with one another.

One of Paul’s most famous sayings is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4–7:
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Our relationships flourish when rooted in love, obviously. When we are patient, kind, humble, not easily angered, empathic, and hopeful, we find our relationships with others bolstered.

In all of this (and more could be said), we find the key to unity. Love is the key to unity. Humility is the key to unity. Patience is the key to humility. Being of the same mind is the key to unity. We find all of these in our relationships with one another. When we have good relationships with others in the body of Christ, we will see unity occur easily and frequently.

“[L]ove one another” Christ says, “even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34–35).

Amen (so be it).

0 859

“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image…’” Genesis 1:26, emphasis added

Can the church achieve Biblical unity? Of course. It just takes a reorientation of our own understandings of each other and how God works.

Since God is our Creator, and we bear the image of our Creator, we are tasked to be like our Creator. In everything the three-in-oneness of God performed, they have done so through a divine unity. Our blog series this month riffed off of this idea in proclaiming that, yes, we can become like the divine “Us” of the trinity.

Unity seems like such a hard thing to obtain. Even for many of us Christians who have dealt with trying to unify churches, we love the idea of unity but hate how we can never seem to orchestrate its occurrence in our churches. We often face rejection and complain to our friends that this pastor doesn’t want to join because of the differences in doctrine. Or we complain that the other church didn’t want to come to our event because of our different styles of worship. There are plenty more ways that we find ourselves complaining about other churches.

However, maybe the problem here isn’t so much with the other churches and their hesitations but in the way we’re approaching the situation.

Similarly, we are faced with more rejection when we try to introduce more multicultural aspects of worship in church. We face worries that the speaker or singer will bring something weird to the service, or that their presence in such a role will make the church audience confused or feel awkward. Again, we often feel rejected and complain about the pastor or other leaders in the church who have once again denied what we feel will bring greater unity to the church.

However, maybe the problem here isn’t so much with the pastor or church leaders, but in the way we’re approaching the situation.

Unity is a divine calling…

  • “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” John 17:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
  • “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10, NASB
  • “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:1–6

… and pretty much every single church agrees on it.

Yet, how come we as the body of Christ are still so segregated to look like we don’t put our words into actions when it comes to unity?

Those of us who desire to see a more unified church body face a lot of pushback and then feel discouraged. Often times, this is because we are trying to move too fast and introduce too much change right away. Small steps over the course of time lead to much ground gained.

The Divine Us, as we’ve been discussing, focuses on the ideas that the church can be one unified body. We can be the multicultural, multiracial, and multilingual body of Christ that is spoken of in the book of Revelation.

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” – Revelation 7:9–10 NASB

The Divine Us, as we see embodied in the Holy Trinity, is a God-head that operates in perfect unity. God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ are completely unified in relationship with one another. They each have their jobs to do, and they support one another as they do it. Yet, they are never far from one another in doing their jobs. The Divine Us is in perfect relationship.

How can we as a church body be like that?

We seek to be completely relational with one another.

How do we establish unity in our churches?

We put relationships first.

How do we unify two or more churches despite all the differences?

We focus on the basis of our relationships with one another, that is we focus on Christ.

How do we unify while still maintaining diversity?

We respect one another because we are in relationship with one another.

Becoming like the Divine Us is not unattainable. In fact, we are called to be like them. We just need to focus on what is truly the only thing that matters. That is, we must focus on maintaining our relationships with one another.

Read more about us and how we can help bring a multicultural worship experience to your church.

0 571

Our series this month is analyzing how we as the body of Christ can become more like the divine Trinity. When the Trinity went to work, they said, “Let us.” There was not a “let me” or an “I” in their intentions. There was only “us.”

The body of Christ does not work that same way. Most of the time we find ourselves fragmented, either willingly or subconsciously. We are fragmented based on the color of our parishioners’ skin. We are fragmented based on doctrinal beliefs. We are fragmented based on a myriad of details that ultimately do not matter in the Kingdom of God.

Yet, we often find ourselves segregated from those who are unlike us. In this segregation, we are not only depriving ourselves from a richer worship experience but we are depriving others of it as well.

One of the main worries that churches have when they are asked to partner with another that is different from them is that they don’t want to lose their own culture through that partnership. The church does things the way they want them to be done and don’t want to see another church change anything. While there may be some things that would be better off changed, the partnering churches must learn to maintain respect between themselves by protecting the diversity they find in each other.

Change may occur organically, but should not occur forcefully. Nor should change be manipulated through either church.

Instead of wanting to change one another, focus on what unifies the two churches in the first place. Are both churches urban centers of worship? Or are they rural? Do both churches have similar worship styles? Sometimes the only unifying factor is that the churches both belief in Jesus. And that’s alright. Roll with that since that is the supreme unifying factor in all of Christianity.

How do we unify while still maintaining diversity? We respect each other and desire to partner with one another based on a love of Christ first and foremost while not wanting to “change” another church. With respect as a primary function, we see that unity within diversity is not only possible but easily accomplished.

REVIEWS

0 786
ASASASdS