We are like fingerprintsYes you are right. All that matters is their story and how they came to God, their health and well being.
Just when we think we have all the ingredients in the recipe weI agree with what someone said about none of us being perfect. If I may, I'd like to establish, from my perspective, that perfection is not the standard I would try to demand of others when it comes to doctrinal consistency with what's written in the word of God. There are a few vague things in the Bible, of which we need not quibble over when there is a lack in clarity and importance.
On the other hand, I subscribe first and foremost to love as the highest standard by which we should approach issues of biblical proportions.
Now, within the ecumenical movement, I'm seeing compromises that cause me to step back and take a more holistic look rather than to jump in blindly, waving the banner of "love" and "unity" while turning a blind eye to the many ripple effects originating from various items of doctrine and belief that so many others possess. Love was never meant to be a force to smother out discernment and distancing from corrupt beliefs that so many others out there, who claim to be "christian," (whatever that means in a relativistic culture) but whose system of theology embraces a god completely unknown to the scriptures.
I'm all for this:
Proverbs 27:17 17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
It has been discussed in other posts in this thread about, in the midst of differences, seek out the similarities. From my experience, the similarities have always surfaced in discussions about the differences. It's organic. That very truth can be seen in this very thread, whether most noticed it or not.
You see, what I try to drive people toward is this:
WARNING: What follows may be deemed harsh and unacceptable to some, so proceed with your reading with caution if you so dare continue; for the flesh cannot accept what I'm about to say.
1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
So, for those who live by the Spirit, and are therefore taught by that same Spirit, will not harbor disagreement on doctrinal issues.
When there is disagreement, that is evidence for the lack of one or both not living, breathing and walking by that Spirit. This is dangerous, and should be taken more seriously by all true believers.
Rather than to recognize this harsh reality, most go away with their stiff necks fully intact rather than to embrace one another and say, "Because we both seek to live by the Spirit, we need to take this before the Lord that His Spirit may correct one or both of us, and instruct us of His truth in this matter.
Where do you ever hear this taught, especially within the ecumenical community? If we claim to walk in the Spirit, we should always walk collectively in and by that same Spirit, thus shattering the fleshly tendency toward disunity. I have no desire to fellowship with those who are not willing to seek the Spirit of the Lord for all things, especially where there is disagreement.
How many out there teach this level of unity, which can lead to true fellowship?
8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
In these verses, we are instructed how much higher than ours are the thoughts and ways of God, but nowhere in that context does the Lord say, "Now, don't you dare ask me for my thoughts and my ways...!"
In defiance of my flesh, I routinely ask the Lord for His ways and His thoughts, and I can't possibly do justice to how wondrous has been His response, and what He has given to me. I'm boasting only about the Lord. It is none of me. It's all about Him and what He lovingly provides to those who ask in accordance with His will.
So, by example of iron sharpening iron, we should be encouraging one another to greater heights in faith, knowledge, and obedience unto the Lord, and all else that the Lord has written within our hearts. We should seek perfection only in our agreement in what the Spirit of the Lord gives to us.
When confronted by those who promote doctrines, such as following the written law, praying to Mary and/or other so-called "saints", joining in the brotherhood of mankind, and any number of all the other worldly mantras and sloganeering campaigns that mask the evil behind their belief structures, I choose to not pollute myself with them. I will encourage them to seek the Spirit, but given that most don't live by the Spirit, it's an exercise in futility.
So, in conclusion, there are only two different arenas of unity...not three, four or more. There is truth, and there is falsehood. There are no shades of gray. Unity at the expense of truth is not unity. It is bondage. In Christ Jesus, there is not falsehood, for He said of Himself that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is, therefore, only One Truth.
A desire in two or more people discussing doctrine and other things of life, to seek after the Spirit, is a good beginning in discovering the power of the Lord in unity within the Body. When we live at that level in our faith, the desire to go back to the inferior rudiments of the world in our understanding is rendered null and void. We see, then, that we were only pretending to be unified, when in fact we were not. It was only a pretense.
See? I told you this could be dangerous. It goes against the very fabric of modern, liberal, Western thinking.
realize, eventually, that we left out mercy. There is, indeed, only
one truth, as you said, but isn't the truth self-sustaining?