(see also BODY OF CHRIST)
I want the whole Christ for my Savior, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church
for my fellowship, and the whole world for my mission field.
Calvin, who saw that the Devil's chief device was disunity and division and who
preached that there should be friendly fellowship for all ministers of Christ, made a
similar point in a letter to a trusted colleague: "Among Christians there ought to be
so great a dislike of schism, as that they may always avoid it so fast as lies in their
power. That there ought to prevail among them such a reverence for the ministry of the
word and the sacraments that wherever they perceive these things to be, there they must
consider the church to exist...nor need it be of any hindrance that some points of
doctrine are not quite so pure, seeing that there is scarcely any church which has not
retained some remnants of former ignorance."
Charles W. Colson, The Body, 1992, Word
Publishing, p. 107-108.
In the Cambridge, Minn., Star: "Isanti County Commissioner Tom Pagel has
100-percent support from his family, not 10 percent, as was stated in last week's article
on Pagel's announcement to seek re-election."
"To remain divided is sinful! Did not our Lord pray, that they may be one, even as we are one"? (John 17:22). A
chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is, "Christians of all doctrinal shades and
beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless... Unite, unite!"
Such teaching is false, reckless and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity.
Unity without truth is hazardous. Our Lord's prayer in John 17 must be read in its full context. Look at verse 17: "Sanctify
them through thy truth; thy word is truth." Only those sanctified through the Word can be one in Christ. To teach
otherwise is to betray the Gospel.
Charles H. Spurgeon, The Essence of Separation, quoted in
The Berean Call, July, 1992, p. 4.
During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the Brethren
assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not, faced
harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp.
When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally they decided that
the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in
prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ's commands. Then they came together.
Francis Schaeffer, who told of the incident, asked a friend who was there, "What did you do then?" "We were just one," he
replied. As they confessed their hostility and bitterness to God and yielded to His control, the Holy Spirit created a spirit of
unity among them. Love filled their hearts and dissolved their hatred.
When love prevails among believers, especially in times of strong disagreement, it presents to the world an indisputable mark of a
true follower of Jesus Christ.
Our Daily Bread, October 4, 1992.
In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demanded that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn't. "What makes you think you can
walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus.
"These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually
they're nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold."
"Which channel do you
want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can't
you guys get organized like that?"
There are two ways of being united -- one is by being frozen together, and the other is by being melted together. What
Christians need is to be united in brotherly love, and then they may expect to have power.
Moody's Anecdotes, p. 53.
Tonto and the Lone Ranger were riding through a canyon together when all of a sudden both sides were filled with
Native American warriors on horses, dressed for battle. The Lone Ranger turned to Tonto
and asked, "What are we going to do?" Tonto replied, "What you
mean 'we,' Whiteman?"
Edward Dobson, In Search of Unity, p. 20-27.
There can be union without unity: tie two cats together by their tails and throw them over a clothesline.
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of
one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred
worshipers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be,
were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.
Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.