2 Jun 2006

Baby Steps Toward Unity

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone, Christian hope, Church, Kingdom, Restoration History, Unity
I am delighted by all the discussion of unity lately (that is much better than silence). I do not believe unity is unattainable simply because I happen to believe that all Christians are ALREADY unified in Christ Jesus. Our problem is trying to divide what God by his grace has brought together. Here are a few “baby steps,” if you will, toward maintaining what God has created:

1) Our congregational prayers should include regular prayers for the unity of the local church, as well as the church universal;

2) Emphasis should be placed in demonstrating that the Communion is in fact a “sacrament of unity” — unity with God and unity with each other. These two simple things can heighten our awareness of the importance of unity in God’s plan;

3) Unity can be stressed by promoting ” gospel meetings” (etc) of congregations that you may or may not particularly like or agree with; cross the divide and support your brothers and sisters even if we do not agree on a laundry list of issues;

4) Shepherds and ministers can model a “spirit of unity” among the flock by their gentleness and Christlike spirit on so called controversial subjects and persons and;

5) finally have a Sunday class or Wednesday on a book such as Leonard Allen’s Distant Voices. I think even the recent work of John Mark Hicks and myself could help us with a godly vision, Kingdom Come. There are some outstanding recent works that can help promote healing and dialogue. I think of Jack Reese’ The Body Broken and Rick Actchley and Bob Russell’s Coming Together. A little unifying history in our blood may do us some good.

These are “baby steps” but I do believe they can be of help.

Bobby Valentine
Ut omnes unum sint (John 17.21, Vulgate, “that they may all be one“)

3 Responses to “Baby Steps Toward Unity”

  1. Steve Puckett Says:

    I think I mentioned to you that I do camp with Cecil Walker. You read his blog. We have had a good bit of difficulty over the past two days. Our two churches do a good bit to encourage and model unity among churches in our community. We especially have good relationships with our Christian church brothers.

    However, we still have those of “our way or the highway” persuasion who love to fuss and fight every chance they get. Anytime someone gives you an ultimatum and threatens you with withdrawal of support or fellowship you pretty much know the maturity level you are dealing with.

    It has been tougher for Cecil since he knows Pat and Pat has spoken at their church. He extended the invite to Pat to come to our week and had to make the dreaded call to “uninvite” him.

    I think it is ironic that Pat is speaking at Rochester College’s Elevate this summer on the topic of: Exposing the Truth. These hardheads could use some of that exposure for whatever good it would do.

    Anyway, thanks for your emphasis on unity. We join with you in that desire, hope and prayer.


  2. hermit jeremy Says:

    Yes, I am glad that you have stopped by our little plot of cyber land… I enjoy reading your thoughts and must return more faithfully.

  3. Don McPherson, disciple of Yeshua Says:

    This morning on my FB Post: Don McPherson asks all who truly believe in the Lord God Yeshua to trust in one undisputable fact: His Heart’s desire is that we all be united only in His love so that the world might believe that He is the only true God who loves them and who died for them.

    Thanks brother, …may we all unite on Yeshua’s Heart which bled and continues to bleed for ALL His followers.

    Yeshua’s Shalom:
    Is only comes from Him, not “you or I or them being right on our interpretations or understandings.

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