Sunday, December 9, 2007


Which is easier? Getting two individuals to agree or getting two groups to agree?

Marriage is an example of two individuals who are supposedly working and agreeing together. The reality is that everyone knows that marriages rarely operate on the basis of unity and working together.

Many marriages are more like super powers agreeing to not interfere with designated areas of influence. When dialogue actually does happen in order to get agreement, it is more like acquiescence has taken place. One partner has simply worn the other partner out. Other forms of agreement are really just trade offs. “You can get your motorcycle if I get a new living room set.” By the way guys, if your wife says, “you can get your damn motorcycle”, make sure whoever you are buying it from has a good return policy.

If it’s hard for a couple that really love each other and will clearly benefit from working in unity, how much harder is it for Christians to actually live out this idea? It almost seems that Paul is barking up an impossible tree when he gives the purpose for apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors/teachers.

“to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12,13 (NIV)

When individuals form into organized groups it is necessary to have exclusive thinking (practices and doctrines) in order maintain their identity. Without some form of exclusivity the group will eventually cease to exist.

Therefore when church groups say they have a pastor they also must say that their pastor is not working towards what he is biblically mandated to do. His mandate from the words of Paul is to work towards unity among all Christians. But his reason for existence in the group is to maintain the group’s uniqueness or exclusiveness. Therefore he may be called a pastor in modern language but he is not fulfilling his job description as outlined by Paul. The general rule of thumb when interpreting Ephesians 4 is to simply put your thumb over it.

What does Christian unity look like? Definitely not the exclusiveness that creates disunity between the 39,000+ denominations that exists today.

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