May 22, 2003

Some more thoughts on church unity...for starters, what is it?

A quick survey of the Gospels and the Pauline epistles today has taught me a couple of things. First, church unity isn't something the church is responsible for creating. It is a side effect of our common unity with Christ. As I described it to our associate pastor today, "You and I have unity with one another by virtue of the fact that you and I each are united with Christ." So...unity among believers is a given, right?

The NeoTheologue takes a quick glance at his own church.

Hmm.. =\ Maybe not.

The New Testament makes one other thing clear: though we aren't responsible for creating unity, we are responsible for maintaining it. "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace," says Paul in Eph 4:3.

Seems to me we'd do well to quit looking at unity through the "building" lens and instead view it through the "stewardship" lens. How can we be better stewards of the unity we have in/through Christ?

(Regarding the original question, "What reasons does the Bible endorse for leaving a church," I haven't come up with much yet. I'll say this though...of all the letters that Paul wrote to screwed up churches, he never once counselled anyone to leave to start their own church...)

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