Unlimited Unity with God

When I reblogged GUNS AND SALINE, I used stronger language than Pastor Randy. Stephen, in particular, was not happy. He replied to my comment with a subtle jab.

That’s one hell of a unifying message Tom. Glad your not the one sowing division or pitting one against another.

For an instant I was a bit flustered. I was raised with idea that we must be unified, and unity is a good thing. Right? Don’t our military forces depend upon unified action? But with a little reflection I realized that unity is not necessarily a good thing. If we are unified with the wrong person or in the wrong belief, unity is a bad thing.

To be unified with other people we must share their purpose and the values they support. As Christians, however, we owe our allegiance to Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven.

Consider a portion of the words Jesus spoke in prayer just before He was crucified.

John 17:11-21 New American Standard Bible

11 I am no longer going to be in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name, which You have given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 But now I am coming to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I am not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them away from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 Just as You sent Me into the world, I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
20 “I am not asking on behalf of these alone, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, 21 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 sent Me.

As Christians, we cannot be unified with anyone or any cause we believe contrary to the teachings of Scripture. That is why the world hates us. We cannot go along just to get along with those who have power and influence. For example, members of the early church suffered constant persecution because they would not sacrifice to Pagan gods. That included worshiping the emperor as a deity.

Why worship a man? The people of the Roman Empire worshiped emperor to demonstrate their unity. Effectively, to further the cause of “unity,” the citizens of the Roman Empire worshiped the state in the person of the emperor. So, Christians had to explain to the Pagans that hated them the reason for the hope that was within them and present a different idea of unity.

Ironically, Atheists now claim that Christians only believe in teachings of the Bible because that is what Christians were brought up to believe. That is not a good argument. That is especially true today. It has been almost a hundred years since the cultural centers of America actively promoted Christianity to the exclusion of other beliefs.

Consider the blog post below. Click on the link and read it to the end.

When I said that beliefs taught to me by my culture aren’t necessarily wrong, you helpfully offered, “It doesn’t mean they’re right either!” Of course, you’re correct and you should absolutely make your bold assertion whenever somebody foolishly proclaims, “I’m right because I was taught to think this way!”

Fools are fond of saying stuff like, “The only reason you believe in God is because you were brainwashed by religious leaders,” as if their own beliefs were conjured up out of nothing by unidentified cosmic forces. While they laugh and jeer at my ‘indoctrination,’ it never occurs to their enlightened minds that they’ve also been ‘brainwashed’ by somebody.

Continued =>

Before we unify with some person or some cause, we need to think about our choices. Because the cost was so high, early Christians gave the matter considerable thought before they became Christians and committed themselves to unity with Jesus Christ, and that still happens today in parts of the world where the people are actively hostile to Christianity.

Do we in America actually consider what it means to be Christians? Do we count the cost? Until recent years it has cost us little to call ourselves Christians. We pay the cost now only if we strive to actually behave like Jesus expects us to behave.

One last thought. Are Christians supposed to hate those we cannot be unified with? No. We are supposed to imitate Jesus (John 3:16-21). Some will not listen, but to the extent we can we must share the Gospel, and we must remember vengeance belongs to the Lord (Romans 12:19).

To Be Continued

  • The Meaning of Unity
  • Causes Contrary to Bible
  • Personal Judgments
  • The Limits of Political Unity


7 thoughts on “THE LIMITS OF UNITY — PART 1

Add yours

  1. Tom, John Banyan

    I agree with your post messages except for the use of the word “brainwashed” to describe the true understandings of Christian beliefs…

    The better word to describe what Christians were taught is “enlightened” and many of the synonym word meanings, in my opinion..

    Perhaps the opposite antonyms word meanings of “enlightenment” may g better describe Christian critics, probably because they never were taught to understand and gain the knowledge of the Bible that leads to a path of wisdom and love in their lives.

    If interested, read the following Merriam Webster link.,primitive%2C%20lower%2C%20undeveloped%2C%20rudimentary%2C%20rude%2C%20backward%2C%20low%20

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

  2. Something that I think is really important is that we are not called to seek unity or advocate for unity, we’re called to preserve it. So that means unity is a given, it is already there, it is not ours to create, it does not belong to us. One reason why this is so important to understand is because the road to destruction is often paved by those trying to force or build “unity.” Whenever we do that we fail to honor people’s matters of conscience, their innate dignity which removes the image of God from them and from us all. It dehumanizes people and makes them fair game, the enemy, not of our tribe.

    I want to say this only happens in the secular world but the church has really made a train wreck of things too, partly by forgetting that most things are secondary issues. Those are issues we will not divide over because while they might be important to us as individuals, they are not relevant to our mission in general.

  3. Well said. There are so many verses about this . Shake the dust off your feet . Don’t wish them God speed because if you don’t you partake in their evil deeds. Do not be unequally yoked. The unity we seek is within the body of Christ and assumes that all of us believe in the life, death, and bodily resurrection and follow Christ. Unity based on common beliefs.

    1. Those questions will just get you scorn and ridicule from some.

      The people who think Christianity is all about guilt are often the same who try to use guilt to manipulate Christians. They succeed with those whose wisdom and understanding of the Bible and the message of Jesus Christ is especially weak. That is one reason why Christian education is so important.

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