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Complete Unity?

April 20, 2012

Greetings,

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”           Romans 15: 5-7

Unity is important to God.  So in turn it should be important to us too.  A lot of “Churches” talk about unity, but I find that very few actually practice it very well.  I hear tons of talk about being inclusive, but find that most “Churches” tend to be exclusive and ready to divide quickly over a multitude of issues.  Some “Churches” even have Creeds and other tests for fellowship.  Most will keep people out of fellowship over differences in doctrine.

In over 30 years of fellowshipping at home, I have never been part of an housechurch with a test for fellowship other than a desire to meet with us.  Because of this we have had nonbeleivers become beleivers.  And those who held to non- Jesus like beliefs weeded themselves out in a very short period of time.
 
I will meet with anybody willing to dialog concerning the faith.  And in an open and free Spirit led meeting it is impossible to hide any real personal heresies for very long.  Most folks who have fellowshipped with us over the years usually grow out of their problem theologies in time.  When all things are open and mutual things just have a really neat way of working themselves out for the benefit of all involved.  That at least is my experience and hope.
 
Sure there are times when believers need to separate because of MAJOR differences in theology and practice that can’t be worked out over time, but I believe that separation should be the rare exception, rather than the rule.  When separation is necessary it is almost aways over who Jesus is and what He has done. We should not be dividing over social status, money, age, race, color, musical style or the color of the freaking carpet.  It happens! 
 
God desires that all of His children be of one heart, mouth and mind.  Because such unity brings Him glory.  We need to accept one another as Christ accepted us.  To my knowledge none of us showed up on the scene the very first time with all of our sin and theology in perfect submission to God.  So I hope to never judge a new believer without giving them much grace and time to become more Christlike.  Scratch that; I mean that I never want to judge ANYONE who is on God’s chosen path for them.  Timing is important, but totally up to God and NOT us.
 
In closing Jesus said it best when He prayed to the Father, “May they be brought into complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  John 17: 23
“Complete unity”?  I think we still have a way to go before we get there.  
 
Love and …….
 
Kirk Out !
 
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One Comment
  1. We don’t have any control over other believers. We have influence by our example. The only applicable question about unity is, “am I in unity with all other believers?” It is easy to say yes. Far more difficult to provide a living, consistent example of this. MANY believers are not fun to love, some hurt, some hold weird, indefensible views, some are belligerent, some practice things we think are aberrant–the list of things that can divide us is endless. As is our ability to justify our division as “righteous.”

    Will I accept those whom He accepts? Will I show them a token of the patience and forbearance He shows me? God help me.

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