Unity vs. Agreement

Unity in the Body of Christ is difficult to achieve - especially when we disagree. Christians are diverse! We disagree about biblical interpretation, Christian experience, Christian authorities, moral standards, the role of tradition, the veracity and place of supernatural gifts, qualifications of ministers, appropriate dress, tattoos, the creation narrative, sanctuary style and design, the use of force, the role of government, appropriate worship and the list goes on…
Fortunately, the unity of the body of Christ does not require agreement on these things! It only requires that we disagree while maintaining a supportive love for one another as members of the diverse Body of Christ - while we all take orders from Christ as our “head.” Though we may need to wrestle with whether someone else is a member of the Body, if we hear God voice in our hearts affirming, “Yes,” then our action is decided. We must join with them and “hold their hand” as Jesus smiles at our squirming.

Do the issues of our disagreements matter? Of course, but our unity in Christ matters more. I just finished the book “
Broken Churches, Broken Nation.” In this book, the authors shows that as church disagreement led to church division over slavery 15 years before the Civil War, the nation lost its strongest unifying bonds; war became inevitable. C.C. Goen, Ph.D., the author, insightfully concludes that blame for the war lays at the feet of both northern and southern divisions of the church as neither was willing to confront the issue that divided them within a spirit of unity. (Here is a discussion prompted by the book.)

Jesus said the world would see His glory through the unity of His followers… Will we ever see what that looks like?

Plastic monkeys holding hands
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