Unity

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by neal4christ, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. neal4christ

    neal4christ
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    How do you understand the following verses from Sacred Scripture:

    John 17:20-23 (ESV): "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me."

    1 Cor. 1:10 (ESV): "I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and same judgment."

    1 Cor. 12:24b-25 (ESV): "But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another."

    Phil. 2:2 (ESV): "Complete my joy by being of the same mind, have the same love, being in full accord and of one mind."

    Is this principle of unity being practiced today? How do you understand this unity that is called for?
     
  2. SpiritualMadMan

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    John 17 has long been one of my Favorites...

    Where there is pride there can be no true diversity in the Body of Christ...

    What I am saying is this...

    As long as any one person feels his differences are more important than 'fellowship' we will not have 'Unity'.

    As a Pentecostal I find more areas of agreement here on the Baptist Board than some of the other places I have been...

    That may be because Baptist is such a broad 'generic' term. :D

    So, no I do not believe Unity is 'practiced' except as 'lip service'...

    Mike Sr.
     
  3. Living_stone

    Living_stone
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    But there are also guidelines for cutting off a brother who is apostate, are there not?

    A false "unity" embracing an apathetic sense of relativistic "what's right for you" teachigns will get us nowhere...
     
  4. SpiritualMadMan

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    LS
    Yes there are...

    By definition to be apostate one must first have Faith then abandon it, or actively encourages others to do so.

    True enough at face value...

    However, it is also true that forced unity by the use of man made rules aren't all that efficacious either...

    The problem comes in when one person doesn't like or is jealous of something someone else is doing or has liberty to do, and, makes a fairly good sounding doctrinal rule that it is wrong...

    The argument may be wholly philosophical, or it may even have one of two scriptures (usually taken out of context or mis-interpreted)...

    But, it is not neccesarily 'gospel'...

    There are enough grey areas to keep all the rule makers busy for years to come... [​IMG]

    But, there are also some Read Verbatim (in many translations) things that are absolutely Black and White...

    Theft, Lying, Homosexuality (Taught against in both OT and NT), Murder, and the list goes on...

    I may feel very strongly that Saphiras' and Annanias' sin was Spiritual One-Up-Man-Ship that threatened the Unity of the Local Church...

    I may even preach it from whatever pulpit will allow me to...

    But, just because I fervently believe it to be so does not make it something I can go around requiring adherence to to be a Brother or Sister...

    In my local church I can and will preach that the initial Evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is recieving a Prayer Language...

    But, because I can honestly find Scripture to support both views I can not in good conscience require it of other churches as a condition of fellowship.

    We can fight over whether the theoretical possibility exists for a beliver to walk away from Christ and be lost for eternity...

    But, does it really matter if they were saved and got lost again or if they were never saved to begin with? Either way they need to be saved, now!

    I may be Armenian is basic theological structure... But, there are also scriptures that support some of Calvin's views...

    I do not know if I am making sense or not?

    But, Unity is not something that just happens...

    It has to be worked at just like a good marriage...

    And, just like a good marriage... There's going to be blow-ups and disagreements...

    But, the marriage stays together because they value their relationship and fellowship more than their pride or hurt feelings...

    In the same way we have to decide where to draw the line to exclude someone from our circle of fellowship...

    Obviously, if my Calvinistic Friends only hear me raving about Speaking in Tongues they won't want to even visit with me...

    And, if my Fundamental Baptist friends keep whacking me over the head when I quote from the NIV... I sure ain't gonna want to talk to them much...

    Do we really value each other enough to listen really listen for areas where we are in agreement?

    Or, do we only listen for things to fight over...

    Sadly, I know I can be guilty of that myself...

    Mike Sr.
     
  5. Living_stone

    Living_stone
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    But the present state of Christianity looks more like a divorce...

    Is there no biblical device to ensure unity? How did they decide on 27 books in the NT? I know "God put them there", but how did he make that will know to us inerrantly?
     
  6. SpiritualMadMan

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    Maybe in a minority of cases...

    But, look at the total overall timbre of this board...

    Sure is a lot more Unity than divorce, IMHO...

    That's why I enjoy visiting here...

    There is One Biblical device to ensure Unity, though...

    But, I am not sure you will like it...

    1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

    Mike Sr.
     
  7. Living_stone

    Living_stone
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    Because we have a bunch of baptist. And even baptists don't agree on everything.

    Amen. *sings* "All you need is love...doo da doodoo doo..."
     
  8. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Unity in Christ comes when all believe in the true God, the true Christ. We are not to divide (that is, not have fellowship with) over things that are not essential. But when it comes to essentials like the nature of God and Christ (including the Trinity), the bodily resurrection of Jesus, his work on the cross, and his ascension, then we cannot have unity with those who deny these essentials. Christians cannot have unit with Mormons, for example, or with Oneness Pentecostals.

    Unity is not about a fuzzy, feel-good togetherness or "getting along" for the sake of getting along. Unity comes from being in Christ for all those who have believed. It is wrong to divide over minor issues - to say someone is a not a believer because they baptize differently or because they speak in tongues, etc.
     
  9. pinoybaptist

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    Look at those verses as having been written to local, visible churches, not "universal, invisible" churches.

    A local visible church ought to have unity within the members, including in disciplining and restoration of erring members.
    The problem begins when Baptists try to unite and agree with Baptists of other faith, practice and order (Calvinists to Primitives and these to Arminian Baptists), or when Pentecostals try to have unity with non-Pentecostals.
    Just can't happen.
    Doctrines, practices, and the like will clash.
     
  10. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Except that John 17 cannot be addressed to a local church - here Jesus is addressing the Father re the Apostles.
     
  11. SpiritualMadMan

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    Wanna Bet? :D

    John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
     
  12. Claudia_T

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    Unify upon the Platform of Truth.

    Those who love Jesus and the souls for whom He has died will follow after the things which make for peace. But they must take care lest in their efforts to prevent discord they surrender truth, lest in warding off division they sacrifice principle. True brotherhood can never be maintained by compromising principle. As Christians approach the Christlike model and become pure in spirit and action they will feel the venom of the serpent. The opposition of the children of disobedience is excited by a Christianity that is spiritual. . . . That peace and harmony which are secured by mutual concessions to avoid all differences of opinion are not worthy of the name. On points of feeling between man and man, concessions should sometimes be made; but never should one iota of principle be sacrificed to obtain harmony.
     
  13. Marcia

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    The fact there different christian denominations doesn't mean there is no unity. All those who have put their faith in the true Christ are brothers and sisters in Christ. I can attend a service in any kind of church where Christ is exalted and the true God is worshiped and the Bible is seen as God's word. That does not mean that I want to make it my church home, but not making it my church home does not mean I don't have unity with them.

    We can disagree on non-essentials -- and still have unity in Christ.
     

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