Saturday, January 20, 2007

Top Ten Reasons Why Christian Reconciliation is Required of Us

  1. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21)
  2. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me ... (John 17:23)
  3. If a house is divided against itself, then that house cannot stand. (Matthew 12:25, Mark 3:25, Luke 11:17)
  4. If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)
  5. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5:15)
  6. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of corrupt mind ... (I Timothy 6:4-5)
  7. If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselevs. (Philippians 2:1-3)
  8. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called to one hope when you were called -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:3-6)
  9. One of you says, "I follow Paul", another, "I follow Apollos", another, "I follow Cephas (Peter)", still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? (I Corinthians 1:12-13)
  10. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable ... (I Corinthians 12:21)

Believe me, I'm aware of the obstacles to Christian unity. But it seems to me the spiritual obstacles are greater than the doctrinal obstacles, and the greatest obstacle of all may be despair, which defeats us by making us unwilling to try. The greatest of Christian virtues are faith, hope, and love. It will take all of them.

Do we dare to hope for Christian unity?


codepoke said...

Despair is the only logical course on this one. But somehow, I still cannot lay down the burden.

May God speed your journey. You know I'll be with you in it. If you have any ideas to "put wheels" on this, I look forward to 'em!

Weekend Fisher said...

"Logical" ... sounds like Spock from Classic Trek. After how many times he computed the odds as being impossible and Kirk *still* beat them, I'd have asked him to compute the odds on this: what are the odds that logic is sufficient to explain everything that happens in the world?

The wheels are scheduled for later this week ... funny you should ask.

japhy said...

Unity will not be attained at the snapping of fingers, but at the breaking of bread.

I pray for increased understanding between denominations of Christianity first. There's so much misinformation out there (specifically about Catholicism, but I suppose I'm biased there), which causes more arguments and unfounded accusations than discussions.

The recent interactions between the Roman and Orthodox churches has stirred some new hope in me, although I really don't know what to expect.

Weekend Fisher said...

Say Japhy, why don't you write up one of those misrepresentations and submit it to the Reconciliation Carnival? "Straw men" is the topic of the month. The hard part -- speaking from experience here -- is keeping the anger and frustration out of a write-up like that, and just presenting the reality of it.

japhy said...

I'll try to get one done by the end of the month, but I'm away this weekend, and I'm in class two nights a week, AND my work-days are going to be longer than I'd like for the next week or so...

... but I'll try.

Weekend Fisher said...

It doesn't need to be anything fancy. Just "People say we are secretly devil-worshippers because we have a Saint Molech, but really there was this guy named Molech who lived in Canaan who did some miracles ..." (kidding, just thinking of the kinds of prejudices you guys have to deal with). It can be as short and sweet as you like.