Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Unity in Christ

I wish that we could see that Christ is what matters, not the issues that divide and prevent true unity in Him.

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" Psalm 133:1-3

There is a ministry to which I wish to give my time, talent and treasure, but I've been told that in order to do this, I must sign a statement of faith that is, in part, counter to the doctrines of my Church. We honor the same Creator, believe in the same Christ, are filled with the same Holy Spirit, yet words on a page prevent our working together to love in His name.

I am trying to get my head around all of this.

I know that the Lord is in charge and that brings me peace. If we are not allowed to work together in unity, I can love others in His name all the same. The problem is that there is a big need, and Christians working together can accomplish so much more than when working alone... or, at times, against one another.

I know there are differences in the way our faith is expressed, nuances in our beliefs, and even large differences in our doctrine, but I'm not joining a church; rather, I merely wish to stand alongside other Christians to serve in God's name.

My situation is miniscule in comparison, but I can't help but think of St. Thomas More in The Man for All Seasons. He didn't wish to defy King Henry VIII, but his hand was forced. In the end, his head rolled because he couldn't sign his name to a document that stood against his Church.

I'm happy that I've been able to give much to this ministry already. By God's grace, a significant amount of treasure has flowed into its coffers through the efforts of many within my parish; for that I am grateful. If I am not allowed to serve within its walls, I will continue to refer others to its services from the outside. Even so, I wish that working together for good were more important than our differences.

"May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:23

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus." Romans 15:5

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spririt through the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:3

5 comments:

Christine Trollinger said...

God knows your efforts made a difference. Hugs!

Esther said...

God bless you, Christine! You're so kind.

Rick Mullen said...

Dear Esther, How sad it is when we are divided. We among all peoples, should add our strengths and FAITH together. The common enemy is truly devious. We can hold anyone’s hand in our own. We can pray with and for each other; no matter the language, verbiage, or title. We can be FREE in Our Christ. Our job is not to save, but to be saved. Love Ya! Rick

Esther said...

Many amens to what you say, Rick! Thank you so much. God bless you!

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