Of unity in general:…..â€The Gospel is so exceedingly rich that no section of Christendom can claim a full and exhaustive grasp of its richness. One church has grasped more of it, another less. One has penetrated to the central things, while another has remained to a greater degree at peripheral points. One has grasped one side the other another side. In this respect the churches can learn from each other and help each other to arrive at a simpler, richer and deeper understanding of the Gospel (N.L.C. New Bureau Release, June 30, 1947) ….
What it is:
1. To recognize All Christians are grounded in Christ
2. The core is Christ, despite congregational, doctrinal, social, geographical, moral, age, and language differences.
3. Differences should not be glossed over, but acknowledged. A means to foster understanding is key. It may be that the differences are irreconcilable, and that is ok.
4. Corrective witness to one another should not be squashed, but should be allowed if expressed through love for one another, never condemnation.
Ways to achieve it:
1. Significant differences should be open for honest discussion and mutual growth.
2. Varying congregational and/or doctrinal points of view must never be compromised for unity.
3. Varying congregational and/or doctrinal points of view should never be silenced.
4. Persecution and pain should be expected, this could create a negative impact on new believers, and possibly fatigued older ones. Therefore a place of relaxation, rest, and recharge of like minded individuals in a safe haven can be a good thing, but it should definitely not be the only thing as it is counter to the mission.
5. Levels of separation nor exclusion should never be made, but the goal should be to find a common language, such that the truth of the Gospel overshines all.
6. Participants should be sensitive to social, geographical, political, moral and language differences. What is considered Christian in one sector, may be anathema in another as well as the revese. Rather than absolute censorship or favor granted to one side over the other, such subjects should dealt with in Christian love and sensitivity on all sides.
7. Recreation and play build relationships, which lead to dialog, which is a stepping stone.
8. It is likely that there will be some disagreements, where in the disagreement is so sharp, that no reconciliation is possible, and much ill will can result. Thus, the path chosen by Paul and Barnabus in Acts may be a good option, ie to separate for a while as long as both paths are leading towards unity, and rejoin at a future date.
9. The Gospel overshines all