Unity and Uniformity...

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Nazarene Servant

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Yes you are right. All that matters is their story and how they came to God, their health and well being.
We are like fingerprints
I 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?

Isaiah 55:8-9

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.

MM
Just when we think we have all the ingredients in the recipe we
realize, eventually, that we left out mercy. There is, indeed, only
one truth, as you said, but isn't the truth self-sustaining?
 

MatthewG

Account Closed
That is good and keep being this way by the spirit.

Before opening this back up thought about the scripture for all shall know the Lord and no man need to teach his brother or something along those line.

everyone already knows about God and the (if possible the Lord Jesus Christ). Already, some are seekers of the truth of living and worshiping in the spirit as your are expressing here.

While some put religious demands on others and place them in bondage of must do this and must do that if you don’t believe this or that you are cast out of Gods kingdom for ever to go and burn in furious relinquishing depths of hell with every other heretic that doesn’t follow the ways taught in maybe some churchs.

It’s crazy we are all human beings all missing the mark, trying to live by the spirit and worship by spirit and in truth to God and the Lord Jesus Christ who has done so much for everyone they miss the point of love Gods love itself. It is saddening but a reality, however even as Paul stated some preach with sincere heart and some out of contention he did not mind for either way Christ was preached.

We all each are responsible for our own lives.

If you are a believer and trust in his promises, by his grace and his purpose you will serve him in the way he needs you to serve.

Keep living by the spirit that God gives brother and don’t never stop loving and giving bread crumbs to others of the truth that Jesus Christ had taught you.
 
What are your thoughts about the modern mantra, which has the ring of ecumenicalism to it, "Unity doesn't have to involve uniformity"?

What are the limits, if any, to the use of their term "uniformity"? I mean, how does one define its constraints?

Why did a man like Dr. Walter Martin ever practice the inclusionism of the largest of all the religions that have a long history of pagan integration? His book failed to provide coverage of the RCC. Why?

Is unity so much more important than purity...excluding peripheral doctrines that don't corrupt the foundational truth of who God is?

Is it really intolerant bias to call out the obvious faults in a religion simply because its adherents have such a passion for its content, and therefore offending them?

Where does one draw the line for recognition that most religions define a god completely unknown to the scriptures written by inspiration from the One, true God through His apostles?

Can unity ever be more important than an understanding of the nature and character of the One, true God we can read about in the Bible?

Some say this is the battle cry for unity:

Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and [toward] men.

How does one justify elevating unity above the level of doctrinal purity in who God is, and what He does and expects of us all?

Thoughts?

MM

Unity can never come at expense of TRUTH!

Are we to seek unity at the cost of doctrine? If so, what doctrines are we to let go in order to join together and be happy go lucky???

Do we say that Jesus is NOT both God and Man to satisfy the Muslims and Jews?

At no point in church history has the mere unity of numbers ever made a transforming spiritual impression upon others. On the contrary, it was the very period known as “the dark ages” that the Papacy could claim her greatest unity in western Europe” (Evangelicalism Divided, Iain Murray, page 291).
 
Unity can never come at expense of TRUTH!

Are we to seek unity at the cost of doctrine? If so, what doctrines are we to let go in order to join together and be happy go lucky???

Do we say that Jesus is NOT both God and Man to satisfy the Muslims and Jews?

At no point in church history has the mere unity of numbers ever made a transforming spiritual impression upon others. On the contrary, it was the very period known as “the dark ages” that the Papacy could claim her greatest unity in western Europe” (Evangelicalism Divided, Iain Murray, page 291).

Thank you. That pretty much is exactly the points I was hammering homeward. 👍

MM
 

Nazarene Servant

Account Closed
Truth, yes, but whose truth gets the upper-hand when opinion is what divides.
From what I have seen is that the church is its own worst enemy when it comes
to assertions of 'truth'. The truth is Jesus died on the cross for our sins and we
should spend the rest of our lives trying to be more like Him. But when squabbles
about whose Tribulation is accurate or to give or not give is not a matter of
maintaining truth but who is going to be right and establish an agreement
that 'ah, we are right' between two people is not the essence of truth.

If the Bible doesn't clearly define it then who cares? We can discuss it but from
what I have seen here is that the most divisive issues are the ones the 'truth-tellers'
are willing to sacrifice all unity in order to be right for. That is not someone interested
in truth but is just good old fashioned 'I am right and you're wrong' and I will yell
louder and louder until you acknowledge it.
 
Truth, yes, but whose truth gets the upper-hand when opinion is what divides.
From what I have seen is that the church is its own worst enemy when it comes
to assertions of 'truth'. The truth is Jesus died on the cross for our sins and we
should spend the rest of our lives trying to be more like Him. But when squabbles
about whose Tribulation is accurate or to give or not give is not a matter of
maintaining truth but who is going to be right and establish an agreement
that 'ah, we are right' between two people is not the essence of truth.

If the Bible doesn't clearly define it then who cares? We can discuss it but from
what I have seen here is that the most divisive issues are the ones the 'truth-tellers'
are willing to sacrifice all unity in order to be right for. That is not someone interested
in truth but is just good old fashioned 'I am right and you're wrong' and I will yell
louder and louder until you acknowledge it.

I'm not sure from what perspective you're addressing the topic of truth, but when I personally speak of Truth, He's a Person.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

We also read in 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, yes. We as believers have access to all truth, not just some of it, or most of it, but all truth.

The benefit of having the Person Truth within us is that we then have all truth indwelling us. By Truth, we can live together in total agreement in all things so long as we are walking in the Spirit. That level of unity is something we should all seek, and yet the tendency is to hold to our petty doctrines our denominations taught us, or that a favorite theologian rationalized to our personal satisfaction.

So, we all have a choice before us: We can hold to our pet doctrines and beliefs, or we can find true unity as the functional body of Christ by giving up all to Him. I confess before you all that of myself, I need (T)ruth, and I desire (t)ruth from the Source of all (t)ruth. All else that I have ever learned from men, I'm willing to cast it all aside that the Lord may fill me with His truths.

Additionally, I seek the Lord for His thoughts and His ways, no matter how much higher than ours they are. I desire to be filled with all that He's willing to pour out into me. He alone can expand our borders to receive more than all other men who prefer to wallow about in worldly ignorance and feeblemindedness. Mighty thoughts are worthy of a might Lord, and I seek to honor Him by nothing passing through my lips that is not truth in honor of the Truth. When we all collectively seek that and Him, we can have wondrous fellowship that sitting in rows in religious exercise, looking at the backs of each other's heads, can never touch.

Am I a dreamer? Perhaps. Very few are willing to cast aside their crutches of mere religion so that they can walk out into that wilderness to be tested for what they're really made of...

1 John 2:20-21

20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

We should all be striving to follow this to the letter.

MM
 
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Sometimes I can see excess knowledge as a deconstructive force, as logic tries to reason with faith. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss.
Maybe thats why Christ loved children so much. They are naturally unified in their innocence.

Excess knowledge? Hmm. Don't know that I've ever encountered that before. I've heard of guys who know more than everything because they know things that just ain't...

MM
 

Garee

Account Closed
Uniformity, it becomes a matter of faith as unseen power as to where it comes from as to whose faith or labor is brought into view .

If in respect to that seen mankind called a law of the fathers, kings and princes .They would be shown as making Christ the source of faith that dwells in those born again without effect. Placing what the eyes see like the apostles above the word of God as it is written .It represents the faith of God .

They are shown in Acts 24 trying to prove that the one source of faith. . all things written in the law and prophets (sola scriptura) by which all men can believe as the Holy Spirit works in them. . are dead words from the past.

The Holy Spirit through Paul made it clear what they call heresy (sola scriptura) By it he worships the unseen God of the fathers seen .They as a hierarchy of men worship the fathers seen as if they were a gods in the likeness of men . Therefore no unity of the Spirit that works in all believers. But uniformity by what the eyes see the temporal

Acts24:13-14 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

Again of his father not worshiing the fathers as gods in the likeness of man The pagan foundation many gods a legion of fathers that lord it over the faith of the non venerble pew sitters.

The same law of the father comes by the witness of that seen they call that unity .And not unity of the unseen Spirit as it is written

We are also informed that there must be heresy as private interpretations or personal commentaries among us But it also informs us those oral traditions that comes from private interpretations cannot deny the lord that bought them with the “fullness of grace” the unity that come from those called venerable ones who lord it over the faith of the non-venerable

1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

They do despite to the very unifying grace of God. Teaching that Christ offered a unknown remnant of grace and mankind with the exception of what they call a quen of heaven .they say she alone received the fulness of grace. They must continue to suffer after the first death in a place called purgatory for another unknown wonderment.. Therefore no end of faith. . the salvation of one’s soul .

Believers receive the end from the first work he works in us, the work or labor of love the same love we return to when we do fall.

1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

No end to their faith . They in efect in thier uniformity make Jesus out to be a circus seal Do a trick and then we will believe.

John 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

Unity of the Spirit not seen the eternal not uniformity of the flesh the temporal corrupted powerless seen . . . no faith as it is written (sola scriptura)
 
Excess knowledge? Hmm. Don't know that I've ever encountered that before. I've heard of guys who know more than everything because they know things that just ain't...

MM

I know what it is! Goggle the old sitcom of "CHEERS". Then notice the mailman......Cliff Claven.
He is the perfect example of someone being educated beyond their intelligence.
 
Sometimes I can see excess knowledge as a deconstructive force, as logic tries to reason with faith. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss.
Maybe thats why Christ loved children so much. They are naturally unified in their innocence.

Have you ever heard about "Little dirty Johnny"?????

He is the 8 year old who ties two cats tails together.
 
I'm not sure from what perspective you're addressing the topic of truth, but when I personally speak of Truth, He's a Person.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

We also read in 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, yes. We as believers have access to all truth, not just some of it, or most of it, but all truth.

The benefit of having the Person Truth within us is that we then have all truth indwelling us. By Truth, we can live together in total agreement in all things so long as we are walking in the Spirit. That level of unity is something we should all seek, and yet the tendency is to hold to our petty doctrines our denominations taught us, or that a favorite theologian rationalized to our personal satisfaction.

So, we all have a choice before us: We can hold to our pet doctrines and beliefs, or we can find true unity as the functional body of Christ by giving up all to Him. I confess before you all that of myself, I need (T)ruth, and I desire (t)ruth from the Source of all (t)ruth. All else that I have ever learned from men, I'm willing to cast it all aside that the Lord may fill me with His truths.

Additionally, I seek the Lord for His thoughts and His ways, no matter how much higher than ours they are. I desire to be filled with all that He's willing to pour out into me. He alone can expand our borders to receive more than all other men who prefer to wallow about in worldly ignorance and feeblemindedness. Mighty thoughts are worthy of a might Lord, and I seek to honor Him by nothing passing through my lips that is not truth in honor of the Truth. When we all collectively seek that and Him, we can have wondrous fellowship that sitting in rows in religious exercise, looking at the backs of each other's heads, can never touch.

Am I a dreamer? Perhaps. Very few are willing to cast aside their crutches of mere religion so that they can walk out into that wilderness to be tested for what they're really made of...

1 John 2:20-21

20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

We should all be striving to follow this to the letter.

MM

Agreed.

Romans 2:8 (ESV)........
"but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury."

John 17:17.........
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

John 14"6.........
"Jesus saith unto them, I am the Way, the TRUTH and the Life..........".

John 1:1-2.........
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God."

Jesus IS God and Saying that God is truth extends beyond Him being truthful to declaring that truth itself find its very source in His nature. Other things can be truthful, but only God Himself is truth. Truth flows out of His very nature.
 
Agreed.

Romans 2:8 (ESV)........
"but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury."

John 17:17.........
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

John 14"6.........
"Jesus saith unto them, I am the Way, the TRUTH and the Life..........".

John 1:1-2.........
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God."

Jesus IS God and Saying that God is truth extends beyond Him being truthful to declaring that truth itself find its very source in His nature. Other things can be truthful, but only God Himself is truth. Truth flows out of His very nature.

Excellent points.

It's sad that most people see truth as a collection of what they deem right and proper doctrines, irrespective of the source. You spoke it very well when pointing out that recognition of Truth as being a Person first and foremost, that speaks loud volumes to that person's understanding of the very nature and Person of Christ Jesus. I like that. Good call.

MM
 

Nazarene Servant

Account Closed
I'm not sure from what perspective you're addressing the topic of truth, but when I personally speak of Truth, He's a Person.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

We also read in 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, yes. We as believers have access to all truth, not just some of it, or most of it, but all truth.

The benefit of having the Person Truth within us is that we then have all truth indwelling us. By Truth, we can live together in total agreement in all things so long as we are walking in the Spirit. That level of unity is something we should all seek, and yet the tendency is to hold to our petty doctrines our denominations taught us, or that a favorite theologian rationalized to our personal satisfaction.

So, we all have a choice before us: We can hold to our pet doctrines and beliefs, or we can find true unity as the functional body of Christ by giving up all to Him. I confess before you all that of myself, I need (T)ruth, and I desire (t)ruth from the Source of all (t)ruth. All else that I have ever learned from men, I'm willing to cast it all aside that the Lord may fill me with His truths.

Additionally, I seek the Lord for His thoughts and His ways, no matter how much higher than ours they are. I desire to be filled with all that He's willing to pour out into me. He alone can expand our borders to receive more than all other men who prefer to wallow about in worldly ignorance and feeblemindedness. Mighty thoughts are worthy of a might Lord, and I seek to honor Him by nothing passing through my lips that is not truth in honor of the Truth. When we all collectively seek that and Him, we can have wondrous fellowship that sitting in rows in religious exercise, looking at the backs of each other's heads, can never touch.

Am I a dreamer? Perhaps. Very few are willing to cast aside their crutches of mere religion so that they can walk out into that wilderness to be tested for what they're really made of...

1 John 2:20-21

20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

We should all be striving to follow this to the letter.

MM
I agree with this completely. Jesus is Truth but some are blinded
to the Truth because they are so wrapped up in what they perceive
as truth. People like this resort to personal attacks on the character
of another when they run out of 'truth' to present.
 
Excellent points.

It's sad that most people see truth as a collection of what they deem right and proper doctrines, irrespective of the source. You spoke it very well when pointing out that recognition of Truth as being a Person first and foremost, that speaks loud volumes to that person's understanding of the very nature and Person of Christ Jesus. I like that. Good call.

MM

That is because truth is NOT what we perceive it to be. "Opinions" are not truth and truth is only what God says it is.

Now opinions are not bad at all. Only when they are disguised to appear as truth. If something is an opinion, then it cannot be claimed as right or wrong, true or false; it is entirely subjective and lacking in factual content and THAT is why Bible Doctrine is so important.

Bible Doctrine is important because we must believe the right doctrine. The Bible teaches that to believe the wrong doctrine will lead one astray.

In 2 Thessalonians
2:10-12 we read...........,
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

That is what I believe unity can not replace. UNITY is great. I encourage it totally but not if it challenges the truth of the Word of God.
 

Nazarene Servant

Account Closed
It depends on what unity we are discussing.
I can't be spiritually united with someone who doesn't
believe in Jesus but I can be a non-combative
example of Christ to them.
 
Yes Nazarene this is why unity is so important in the faith and Gospel of Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 13:11 11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Ephesians 4: 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2: For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.

Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour who came down from heaven, lived a life on this earth, died for everyone, then was raised again by God is very sound knowledge that is able allow us unity in the faith.

Though people may have knowledge that they disagree or agree with does not separate the fact of our faith in Gods promises and on his son Jesus Christ. That is the point of unity.

Always glad to help encourage people in their faith and knowledge of God and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Take care and thank you for reading.

It goes so far.....IMHO, that if a person reads any chapter in the Bible of any book and does not see Jesus Christ, then that is the failure of understanding who wrote the book and who is the center of reality.

Jesus is the blazing center of all reality and if we miss that ......unity becomes almost impossible to have.
 
It goes so far.....IMHO, that if a person reads any chapter in the Bible of any book and does not see Jesus Christ, then that is the failure of understanding who wrote the book and who is the center of reality.

Jesus is the blazing center of all reality and if we miss that ......unity becomes almost impossible to have.
Must have the real Jesus and the real Gospel, as MANY have wrong versions for each!
 
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