I’m not attempting to write a definitive guide to church unity by any means. However, being in community with Presbyterians, Methodists, and at least one Anglican at seminary gives me a much different perspective than when I was only hanging out with my Charismatic friends.
· Unity is one of God’s primary goals for the church. (John 17, Eph 4:13)
· The strength of our witness depends on unity (John 17:21,23)
· One of our mandates as believers is to seek the unity of the church. (Eph 4:3)
· There are over a billion Christians out there. Jesus meant unity with them not just with the small number of people we can get in a room on a Sunday morning who will agree with us.
· This means that we have to act very differently than if our goal was to get a few hundred people to agree with us. And it means that things that promote the unity of the few in expense of the many are bad.
· Christians can’t rally around statements that attack other Christians.
· Before sharing something on Facebook, ask yourself “does this senselessly hurt my brothers and sisters?”
· Unity means we can’t ignore the body of Christ and simply assume that God will one day make them like us. That is extremely dangerous and arrogant.
· Instead we have to figure out what other Christian’s actually believe. And then dialogue with them about those beliefs in a gracious way. They might be right after all.
· To dialogue with other Christians we have to know why we believe what we believe beyond that our favorite preacher said it. Otherwise, it’s their tradition or pastor against ours.
· Dialoguing forces us to learn how to handle disagreement (conflict) in a Christian way. See my book review on “Making Judgments Without Being Judgmental” for help with this.
· If we actually know people we will be much less likely to attack them. When I was an engineer I loved meeting people in person, because we were much less likely to yell at each other on the phone if we had had dinner together.
· Be clear about what would cause you to break relationship with a fellow Christian, and make sure it is a darn good reason.
· Jesus only has one body not several million. This has important implications.