Unity, if there is Such a Thing

I was going to write another entry, and I found this draft, so I thought I might as well publish it:

A couple of weeks ago the question was posed to me: what are the younger generation of Christians doing today to create unity amongst the body of Christ? I thought that this was quite an interesting question to ask, because today there are so many Christians who disagree with the rest of the body of Christ. We are really doing nothing to create unity. ‘But,’ I thought, ‘I can’t agree with everyone; some people’s ideas are just plain daft.’ So, really … what can we do to be one with the rest of God’s people? This is a question that I haven’t got a full answer for yet, but I will try to answer some of it to best of my knowledge.

Obviously agreeing on everything is impossible, so the only way we can work together with our difference of beliefs is to accept that we have different beliefs. This sounds like an obvious statement, but for some reason a lot of us have ignored it over the years. Yes it is important to stand up for what you believe in. Yes, it is important not to just go by what the person next to you is doing. And yes, it is very important to discuss and even argue our different opinions. But I’m going to say something now that may get a few eyebrows raised; it’s more important what we do than what we believe.

What we believe obviously matters to us. It matters to our personal lives and shapes who we are. But what we do matters to the people around us; it affects the lives of those around us and shapes the world. Even — dare I say it? — even whether we believe in God at all doesn’t matter if we do nothing about it. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t believe in God or the divinity of Christ. But I am saying that what we do about it is more important than what we believe. If i believe that God is the creator and ruler of the universe, that belief means nothing unless I do what He says. I can believe that God judges every one of my sins but unless I repent from them that belief really means nothing.

But what does what I’ve written so far have to do with the original question, What can we do to create unity amongst God’s people? We can act instead of cut each other off. We can love each other instead of trying to force them to believe what we do. We can work together to build God’s kingdom, instead of tearing His kingdom down by excommunicating each other. How can we be the body of Christ without unity?

Sometimes I think to myself, ‘If everyone in the world were like me, then there would be world peace.’ Now, this is most definitely not true, because if the entire population thought like me, we would all be too radical to even admit that we agree with each other. (I often say that what I fear most in the world is myself.) So what would create world peace? Is it beliefs? It’s a very hard question to answer, and I’m not sure I can answer it, because I have never experienced it. But just because I don’t think I can answer a question shouldn’t mean I will stop trying. So I will try.

First, I will try to define what world peace is not. It isn’t every man agreeing with each other; that’s just not healthy. Neither is it a world with only one branch of religion; as far as I can see, all of the religions of the wold have some flaws. I suppose world peace might be achieved if no human killed another human — If nobody deliberately tried to hurt another person.

So what can we do to achieve such a goal? I don’t know. But what can I do to help? Get along with people. Try not to hurt them. You don’t have to agree with them, but I do think you have to love them.

This is a much more complicated subject than I thought it would be. So I suppose I’ll try to answer a more specific question. What can young Christians do to create unity amongst the church? That is also a very hard question. Perhaps even harder than the first one. So many Christians seem to think that it all depends on all Christians agreeing with one another. The trouble with that, is that the type of Christians who think that also want the whole world to believe their specific theologies. And the problem with that is another group of Christians that believe a slightly different thing cannot tolerate the first group. It’s a really mucked up jumbled mess.

But what can I do? I can’t agree with every other Christian, because some Christian’s ideas are just plain daft. I can’t say that all beliefs are equally right because some beliefs seem to me to be quite clearly wrong. This is what led me to the conclusion that whether someone’s beliefs are wrong or not, it shouldn’t matter as long as what they do isn’t wrong. So what is the right and wrong thing to do? As far as I can see, all of the peaceful religions are good for the world, and all of the non-peaceful religions are bad for the world. (I may be wrong on this though — I haven’t thought it through very well yet.) And as far as I can see, the Bible si the best guidebook to follow. All of the laws and commandments in the Bible that were written to be eternal statutes make up a good system to run the earth by.

The more I think about this subject, the more complicated it becomes. Perhaps a whole library of books could not explain this fully …

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