Unity in Diversity

“I urge you to…be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”  (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Churches of Christ have opposed written religious creeds or rules on the grounds that they alienate followers of Christ from one another.  How can two bodies, each with a written set of rules that differ, ever meet?  Consequently, we have encouraged each person to study the Scripture for himself.  A search for truth is an open-ended process.  As one probes the depths of God’s Word, we must be free to explore new possibilities, free to outgrow old misconceptions.  But, it is inevitable that academic freedom will lead to diversity of views…no two people are at the same point in their intellectual journey at the same time.

As we live together in one body we are challenged to be of one mind and spirit, but, we have all brought our baggage.  Being pre-conditioned by our past experiences, we have individual concepts.  So, a good bit of energy is required to keep all pulling together…nothing pleases everybody…anything will make someone unhappy.  Can there be unity in such diversity? 

Read the rest of this excellent article from the North Stafford Church of Christ here

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13 thoughts on “Unity in Diversity

  1. The concluding words of this superb musing…

    “The key to unity amidst diversity is our common love for the Lord and commitment to His will. Please note. It is love, not total agreement, that binds us together in harmony.”

    To reiterate…

    THE KEY TO UNITY IS LOVE AND NOT TOTAL AGREEMENT!

    THE KEY TO UNITY IS LOVE AND NOT TOTAL AGREEMENT!

    THE KEY TO UNITY IS LOVE AND NOT TOTAL AGREEMENT!

    Charles Jackson understands. He “gets” it. He is a true voice for the real Church of Christ.

    I read this, and I hear a man whose words are lilted with love and rooted in grace… to say nothing of the fine intellect that he brings to bear on the matter.

    If anyone wants to know what a serious preacher of the Gospel sounds like, please read Mr. Jackson’s essay.

  2. Great, great stuff. Thanks for sharing. It is so encouraging to read about churches of Christ like this out there

    I especially loved this from their site:

    “You are invited to come and work, heal, and refresh with us, in the name of Jesus. May we all strive together in unity as we tell about and show others the saving grace and unconditional love of Jesus to a broken but desirous world.”

    “The Christian freedoms that are discussed in Romans 14 are about matters of opinion and not about matters of truth. If a person cannot call an action or activity a “sin” then the matter more properly should be considered an opinion or preference.”

    “Change for change’s sake is unscriptural and will not be condoned at NSCofC. Change as a result of spiritual and biblical maturation is growth and will be done at NSCofC as necessary and as appropriate.”

    “NSCofC is prepared to have discussion with anyone in any situation and with any manner of background. As the Christian relationship builds, we hope that God’s grace and mercy will be so impressive to the individual that the individual will desire to change for the sake of Jesus and what Jesus has done for all of us.”

  3. THE KEY TO UNITY IS LOVE AND NOT TOTAL AGREEMENT!

    THE KEY TO UNITY IS LOVE AND NOT TOTAL AGREEMENT!

    THE KEY TO UNITY IS LOVE AND NOT TOTAL AGREEMENT!

    2Jo 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

    Joh 14:15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    Mt 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

    Some would say, uh Jesus, I don’t totally agree with that, I can continue in my sinful life and still be your brother.

  4. On August 17, 2008 at 1:33 am Katherine Said:
    “NSCofC is prepared to have discussion with anyone in any situation and with any manner of background.

    Did you mention the programs W.D.T.B.S….A.W.F.T.L…..and Bible Q.N.A?

  5. Dude, why are you so angry? No one on here has ever said new are to break Gods law – we are to obey them. But, we do so out of love not because we wish to merit Gods favor.

  6. like you said TD > Joh 14:15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments. Who has said otherwise on here ??

  7. “Dude, why are you so angry? No one on here has ever said new are to break Gods law – we are to obey them. But, we do so out of love not because we wish to merit Gods favor.”

    Dat’s word yo.

  8. On August 20, 2008 at 10:59 am churchesofchrist Said:
    TD, why do you obey Gods law?

    Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

  9. T.D., you aren’t supposed to obey God’s law because you want salvation. You’re supposed to try to obey God’s law because you love Him and because you know that He loves you enough to have mercy for you when you don’t obey that law perfectly… which you can’t do anyway!

    Jesus Christ is not fire insurance.

  10. Jesus Christ is not fire insurance.

    Are ya sure?

    Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

  11. Is baptism necessary? Yes, of course, as necessary as signing a pardon, having a wedding ceremony, or taking the oath for naturalization. But in what sense necessary? Certainly not in an absolute sense. Baptism is necessary as a sign, seal, and assurance of remission of sins. There is actual remission when one believes, formal remission when one is baptized.

    It is not unlike Abraham’s circumcision. He was reckoned as justified when he believed and before he was circumcised. But the circumcision was a sign and seal of the covenant, and it was necessary.

    This harmonizes the passages on faith and baptism. Is one saved when he believes? Yes, of course. Is one saved when he is baptized? Yes, of course. Again, as Campbell put it in his great defense of baptism: “Paul’s sins were really pardoned when he believed, yet he had no formal acquittal, no formal purgation of his sins, until he washed them away in the water of baptism.”

    One extreme is often heard from fundamentalist preachers (but not the scholars), that baptism has nothing to do with salvation. Jesus would never have said “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16) and Paul would never have been told “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16) if baptism has nothing to do with being saved.

    The other extreme is an absolutist or ultraist view of baptism that concludes that salvation is procured by being baptized. Or that it is absolutely necessary for going to heaven.

    The more balanced view recognizes that one is saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8), and that baptism is a faithful response to that grace (Col. 2:12) “a work of grace” (not our work)

    Can we have unity – we already do! Its about Christ, not about us agreeing upon everything at the same time.

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