Christians are meant to be united. We are “all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28). And yet that so often is not the case. Jesus himself knew that and prayed on the night before his death:
“My prayer is not for them alone. 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 NIV.
There are two extreme positions on this issue which people may take. Firstly there are those who think that we can have unity with anyone who is vaguely religious. Just as long as they sincerely believe, then it doesn’t really matter what, we can be one with them. But surely unity must have some basis other than that someone else is sincere in what they believe.
At the other extreme are those who will only have unity with those who think absolutely the same way as they do on every single issue, large or small. This leads to the making essential of things which are not fundamental to the Gospel, for example what style of music they use in worship, what version of the Bible they use etc.
So what is the way forward? We need to define what are the essentials of the Gospel and unite around them. It is all to do with what we believe about God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (as we saw yesterday). We may want to explain exactly what we understand about him, and how that applies to salvation, but such belief is fundamental to everyone who is a Christian.
We really need to examine our own attitudes, too, and make sure that we are doing everything we can to have fellowship with true brothers and sisters in Christ. After all, that is what he prayed for.