“The goal isn’t to be right about everything. The goal is to be one.”
“They made cultural concessions for the sake of unity.”
In Ephesians 4:13 we learn that pastors and teachers are to equip the saints “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…” Paul admonishes believers to pursue unity in the faith. And we should have one goal — to bring glory to God.
Under no circumstances are Christians to unite in ministry with those who teach a false gospel. Yet for one reason or another many Christians actually join hands and pray with apostates and cultists. (More on this topic here) For example, believers will partner with those who bless sexual acts forbidden by God as long as it’s for a “good cause.”
Is unity more important than theology — the study of God? Andy Stanley thinks it is, as you will see in Michael Gryboski’s piece below. But according to Tim Challies, understanding theology and doctrine is critical. He believes that Christians must “follow it, guard it, stand firm in it, and hand it on intact…not venture outside of it, for that is where faith becomes shipwrecked (1 Tim. 1:19–20).” Moreover, Christians will “resist its alternatives. They know this truth is entirely sufficient for life despite uncertainties and suffering. Later, of course, this truth was formulated into the Protestant principle of sola Scriptura.” (Source)
So, what should Christians be doing? Going about our business of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to any and all we encounter.
With this in mind, check out Gryboski’s report over at Christian Post, a site we do not endorse. He writes:
At the Orange Conference, which focuses on issues of church leadership, Stanley spoke on Thursday about the importance of Christians of different denominations being “one” in their mission.
Stanley centered on John 17, in which Jesus prayed that His followers “may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
The influential author and speaker said that he found it significant that Jesus prayed for the disciples to be one, rather than for other things, including good health and being theologically accurate.
“He prayed for our oneness, that we’d be on the same page,” said Stanley. “This is mission critical. If they are not one, we will not win … unity is mission critical and disunity disrupts the mission.”
Stanley spoke of how he came to believe that believing in Jesus Christ was more important than theological arguments like how communion should be served or if babies should be baptized.
“Will we prioritize our oneness over our doctrinal peculiarities? Our baptism, our communion, our style of worship, our preaching?” he posed. Continue reading