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The Key to Unity – Hit the Mark — 10 Comments

  1. Hi Curtis,

    Yes, absolutely love one another and even love your enemies as Jesus said:
    Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    However Jesus also said:
    Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 
    Mat 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 

    See also what Jesus said about the leaders of the church in His day in Matthew 23

    See also warnings by the Gospel writers against being deceived: 2Co_11:13-15; Eph_4:14, Eph_5:6; Col_2:8, Col_2:18; 2Th_2:3; 2Pe_2:1-3;
    John said:
    1Jn 4:1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits to see if they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    So in summary, I believe love one another, treat leaders with respect but that doesn't mean I have to agree with them on Biblical or church policy issues.
    As EGW tells us at the beginning of the SDA church when there were issues they prayed and studied until the issue became clear. I don't believe the leaders are empowered to force an opinion when nearly half the respected theologians and nearly half the congregations don't agree. I say keep studying and praying, in the meantime act like James in Act 15 who said the Jews may continue with "the issue" provided they understand it is not a salvation issue but we will not force the Gentiles who come to Christ to follow "the issue". 

    • Hi Shirley,
      Thank you so much for your comment. However, I am a little confused. Are you conflating the warnings of being deceived with differences of opinion on Bible principles? I would not go so far as to say being opinionated (leadership or laity) equates to being a false prophet.
      Looking forward to your clarification. Many thanks!

  2. Hi Curtis, I believe the Bible warns us that it is possible that some people in the church may be wrong and each must study for her self like the Bereans

  3. I think this is a helpful article as are the lessons. However, I think we chase an earthly unobtainable goal - like 'perfection'. In Last Day Events Ellen White reminds us that persecution brings unity [among those who remain] and perfect unity will; "As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks." p. 175

    • The Apostle Paul held the view that we do well to pursue an 'ideal'/goal as a focus point to keep on heading towards - and at the same time not to focus on how close or far we are from that goal, or to worry whether or not we will attain it in a certain time-frame. 'Perfection' (ie ever-developing maturing) and unity are examples of such 'ideals'/goals. See Phil 3:12-15.

      This offers a viable alternative to having a goal that 'must' be obtained or else, or ditching the goal because it appears to be unobtainable.

      • Phil, you are spot on. It's not about crossing an imaginary line. Our ultimate goal is to reflect Christ and that pursuit, that reflection, will ensure our completeness, a completeness in Him.

    • Clarence, do we have to wait until persecution to experience the unity proscribed? That would mean a lot of missed opportunities during our times of peace.
      Thanks for your comment.

    • Thank you John. Unfortunately (and I hope I'm wrong), we'll move off the subject of unity will little change in the dynamics of our church family. Thanks again for reading.

  4. What is the key to unity? It seems to me, that us humans are hard-wired to produce thoughts/beliefs on which we act to create divisions among ourselves. In our present fallen Adamic state we appear destined to repeatedly discover new (or the same) reasons to produce divisions. No grouping of individuals is ever exempted--including the church. Before the church had even fully suppressed one cause of division (Act 15:1-2), up popped others (Act 6:1; 1 Cor 1:11-12), with more prophesied for the future (Acts 20:30). Paul made a direct connection between the presence of division within the church to INDIVIDUAL compromise (1 Cor 3:3-4)--a STATE antithetical to Christ (1 Cor 1:13), which he highlights by asking rhetorically, "Is Christ divided?". That state does not exist within a group unless it is present within the individual(s).

    So, really, what is the key to unity? Christ points to a type of "self-mutilation" (Mt 5:29-30; Mt 16:24-25) and He also describes its order (Mt 7:5). So the key to unity is really me--me subordinating myself to Christ's prescription. However, no good surgeon EVER allows the patient to perform the operation to remove an offensive, gangrenous limb (Col 2:11)! Anyone with a zealous interest in the unity of God's church must submit to Christ's prescription by putting "some (ALL is better!)skin in the game" (Tit 3:3-7). It is the ONLY way we'll ever heal the divisions that appears to be the fixed, characteristic, malignant, metastatic practice of all who are just "mere men" (1 Cor 3:3).


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