Christian unity? But at what cost?

Seventy-years ago, following the ravages of the Second World War, people across the world were scandalized by the divisions within “Christianity.” They saw the thousands of denominations as defiance of the prayer of Jesus Christ in John 17:20-23 that all believers be united. To that end, the World Council of Churches (WCC) was created in 1948 and the National Council of Churches (NCC) was founded here in the U.S. in 1950. In 1964, at its Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic church reversed its former militant approach and issued the document, “Unitatis Redintegratio” (Restoration of Unity), which called for the unity of all Christians. In the decades that followed, nominal Protestant denominations have increasingly joined together and with Rome in an effort to unite all “Christians”

What are Gospel Christians to think about these ecumenical efforts? The mainline Protestant denominations that comprise the NCC and WCC drifted into liberalism/modernism generations ago. They no longer hold to the Bible as the Word of God and they no longer teach the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. As for the Roman Catholic church, it teaches a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. And while it pleads for unity, the “unity” that it refers to equates to eventual submission to the Roman pontiff:

“…when the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion have been gradually overcome, all Christians will at last, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, be gathered into the one and only Church in that unity which Christ bestowed on His Church from the beginning. We believe that this unity subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.” – Unitatis Redintegratio, Section 4.

Gospel Christians may differ on various secondary beliefs, but WE ARE UNITED in the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. God’s Word warns us not to join with false teachers and pseudo-Christians who propagate false gospels.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” – Matthew 7:15

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting.” – 2 John 10

Christians should NEVER join together with religious unbelievers who call themselves “Christians,” but who propagate false gospels. We need to evangelize these lost souls, not embrace them as fellow believers.

Preacher, writer, and teacher, Will Graham (photo above), recently contributed the five excellent short articles below to Evangelical Focus magazine that summarize the guiding principles to Christian unity. When it comes to uniting with others who profess to be Christians, we must never, never, never accommodate false gospels or compromise Biblical truth.

capture30

A Manifesto of Church Unity – Introduction: Part One of Five
http://evangelicalfocus.com/magazine/4766/_A_Manifesto_of_Church_Unity

Church Unity is Unity in the Truth – Part Two of Five
http://evangelicalfocus.com/magazine/4800/Church_Unity_is_Unity_in_the_Truth

Church Unity is Unity in the Light – Part Three of Five
http://evangelicalfocus.com/magazine/4817/Church_Unity_is_Unity_in_the_Light

Church Unity is Unity in the Spirit – Part Four of Five
http://evangelicalfocus.com/magazine/4834/Church_unity_is_unity_in_the_Spirit

A Manifesto of Church Unity – Conclusion: Part Five of Five
http://evangelicalfocus.com/magazine/4847/A_Manifesto_of_Church_Unity_Conclusion

40 thoughts on “Christian unity? But at what cost?

  1. Hi the question to ask any former Catholic now Christ is I don’t have unity with Catholics or even Mormons how do I have unity with you and see what they say now if they say Catholics are Christian’s that’s a problem. I have heard it Catholics are Christian’s Peter was the first pope they don’t pray to Mary but ask her for help the Catholic Church gave us the Bible etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ryan! I appreciate your stand for the genuine Gospel! Many believers today (including many here at WordPress) would rather accommodate and compromise with false teachers rather than confront them. God bless you, too, brother!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, here I go again battling with my computer and WordPress as I try to figure out why the “like” button does not appear on blog posts. I see them when I read via my phone on WordPress’s “Reader” thing. I thought I got this sorted out last spring, but once again it’s all wonky.

    So… *like*…

    There. I let it be known that I like this post.

    I don’t like that the world is the way it is with its ecumenical “unity” goal, but I appreciate that you have posted about it. It is frustrating to watch so many call themselves “Christians” and know that they are deceived by false doctrine. I used to be one of those, before I got saved in 1987.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Steeny! I wish I could help with your computer problem. Yup, believers need a huge dose of discernment these days with all of the pseudo-christian sects out there today. Praise God for your salvation in Jesus Christ! That’s a miracle and relationship that never grows old!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s so much to do I imagine! Before I was full time in ministry I was all over the place since I was working then doing ministry of teaching and ministry and also was going steady in my relationship with the gal I was courting who later became my wife. I was glad I finally went full time in ministry!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Courting is demanding business with all of the emotional baggage and constantly having to put your best foot forward! It’s like going to a job interview every day. For me, navigating through this career transition with all of the training is tougher than going to work! My old job was very routine once I got past the learning curve and didn’t require a lot of mental effort after I became adept at it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks for the prayers, brother! I appreciate it. My severance lasts until the end of December. If I don’t get any offers, I can switch over to unemployment for 26 weeks. I don’t want to do that but it’s available. Worse comes to worse, there are always temp agencies. My wife’s doctor is counseling her to return to work because she feels somewhat fine although still with some discomfort. She works for a very large medical center (the biggest employer in ROC) and they are very good about accommodating people recovering from disabilities. In addition to her physical ailments, my wife had anxiety about her workplace and the two conditions fed each other.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. To answer your question on my blog: I was sucidal only when I was in 8th Grade when I had severe depression. I think I went through more objectively more difficult times in life after that such as my time in the Marines and war in Iraq and things with ministry, but man that 8th grade depression was something I couldn’t handle it then. Wasn’t a believer and an atheist at that time, God changes everything I suppose…

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Glad you got through it! That had to be tough dealing with severe depression at that young age. My Mom had bouts of deep depression and was on some major meds when I was growing up, but I didn’t find that out until decades later. One of my sisters was bulimic. But these things were never discussed back then.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Unity is the key to building congregations, coffers and political influence. When Jesus said “Love one another as I loved you” He was addressing 12 disciples, not the multitudes. We’re going to need that live and bonding when the ‘unified’ church unites more with the world and comes against us!
    Press on brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Now I urge you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you should all speak in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you may be completely united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
    Unity is important but you cannot partake of the table of Jehovah and the table of demons. I believe being united in the same mind is a sign of truth. Disunity and divisions is a sign of something wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All genuine believers, despite various secondary doctrinal differences, are united in Jesus Christ and the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. In contrast, 1.3 billion Catholics are united on their false baptism and false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.

      Like

  5. Did you know religious leaders at the time of Jesus death wanted to continue in there old traditions? They killed Jesus because they thought he was trying to take over there power and position. Sheep in wolves clothing comes down to religious leaders. They have not changed. And what is known as Babylon the great will soon fall. They are being exposed now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: Did you know religious leaders at the time of Jesus death wanted to continue in there old traditions?

      Oh, yes, I’m very much aware that the Jewish religious leaders of Palestine 30 A.D. could not afford to allow Jesus to criticize their institutional prerogatives.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s