Friday, August 13, 2010

What's the Big Deal about Unity?

What value do you place on unity? It should matter to all of us who call PCC home for three reasons:
--Jesus prayed for it: It was most on his heart prior to the cross: John 17:20-21

--Paul continually commanded it from the churches he planted

--Lack of it takes the focus off of Jesus and onto “whatever” is causing disunity.

The church should always be making Jesus “the thing.” Disunity infiltrates a church in a stealth way and changes the conversation. Without intention, the conversation drifts from Jesus to whatever is causing disunity. Soon members aren’t talking about Jesus but gossiping; they aren’t focused on, praying for and dreaming about spreading the gospel, but their focus is on building their own case. Disunity is a stealth virus that, when inserted into the body of Christ, causes paralysis like nothing I have ever witnessed and clearly presents the church as a mirror of worldly relationships!

Having unity doesn’t mean we agree on everything, but it does mean that we choose the degree to which we will disagree and that when we disagree we will do so agreeably! I tell people, that at PCC, when it comes to areas of agreement, we have open-handed and closed-fisted issues.

--Open Handed: These are areas where we can co-exist yet not see eye-to-eye. We can engage in healthy interaction, Godly critical engagement, and leave the conversation gratified that each person was treated with honor. These areas surround issues of philosophy of ministry (i.e., whether you think the only way to worship is through the hymns or not); ideology (i.e., which political party you belong to, do you home school, public school, private school--or like the Gaddinis--do all three); and non-central (I use that term very carefully) Biblical issues (i.e., Old Earth, New Earth? Pre, Post, or Amillenial? Rapture or No rapture, just second coming of Jesus?).

--Close Fisted: These are areas where debate is no less honorable and civil, but should you want to involve yourself in our church community, you will find there is really no wiggle room. These areas all center on central theological issues: nature of the Trinity; justification through faith, by grace, in Christ alone; the Bible is the word of God; Hell is hot; eternity is forever; Heaven is what we were created for…you get the point.

Look again at John 17:21. Jesus said our best evangelistic strategy is quite simple…be unified. I must tell you, given the extreme diversity within our body, it is a testimony to God’s grace and power that we have the unity we have. THANK YOU! Keep it up church! It honors God and is reaching others!