You’ve probably heard the saying “you can’t get there from here.” The urban dictionary defines the saying to mean “the problem can’t be solved.”
As I thought about solutions to the divisions the Christian church is presently experiencing I realized I felt like “you can’t get there from here.”
When I think about healing the division in the church “here” becomes Christian unity and that’s where I see us needing to “get to” … I believe we have to know where we want to go before we can plan on how to get there, but, in order to pursue Christian unity we must first understand what it is and what it isn’t …
I don’t have a clear vision of what Christian unity is, so, I am limiting my contribution to some basic thoughts about Christian unity…
What I hate about Christian unity:
I hate the way the term or idea is used to shut down a criticism.
I hate the way the term or idea is used to bully someone who is disagreeing.
I hate the way the term or idea is used to avoid conflict.
I hate the way the term or idea is used as if it means agreement or uniformity.
Some things I believe about Christian unity:
Some things are worth division.
Uniformity is not unity.
Agreement is not unity.
Unity is better than uniformity or agreement.
Getting along with everyone is not equal to Christian unity.
Open acts of injustice are a real and formidable obstacle to Christian unity.
Christian unity is related to shalom in that it doesn’t have anything to do with a lack of conflict but has everything to do with right relations.
Christian unity is not so much a destination as it is something that we are continually striving for in each present moment.
What I love about Christian unity:
It is other centered.
We get glimpses of it when we look through the eyes of the other.
It is a high ideal.
It is centered around, justice, love and mercy.
We can make it happen.
Questions I have about Christian unity:
Is Christian unity the opposite of division?
Can Christian unity exist in the midst of divisions?
Should Christian unity be more about a way of living and interacting than about a list of rules or beliefs that we agree on?
How can I have unity with someone who embraces something I believe is harmful to people?
Is Christian unity really nothing more than the agreement of a few basic ideas?
What do you think? Can we get there from here?
Here are the links to the other contributions to this month’s synchroblog. I hope you will take the time to read more.
- The Virtual Abbess – Abi and April’s Synchroblog – Bridging the Divides
- Caris Adel - Emotional Pacifism: Laying Down My Weapons
- Ty Grigg – Speak Truth
- Jon Huckins – Gay Marriage, World Vision, and a Unified Church?
- Mark Votava – Faith Presence in the Parish
- Mary at Lifeinthedport – let us meet in the borderlands
- Michael Donahoe – Healing Divisions in the Body of Christ
- Jeremy Myers – Unity vs. Uniformity in the Church
- Juliet at Still Learning – A Catholics Love Letter to Evangelical Women
- Glenn Hager – The Lowest Common Denominator
- Sarah Quezada - Standing on Church Bridges
- Doug Webster – Truth Is Not a Process, Belief Is
- Michelle Van Loon – Bridging the Divide
- Happy at Simple Felicity – are we there yet?
- Travis Klassen – The Church: Coming, Going, or Being
- Bec Cranford - Biblical Interpretation and Inerrancy: Moving beyond myopia to a grander vision of unity
- Teresa Pasquale – Bridging the Divide: Translating Between Dialects, Culture Contexts, and Heart Stirring
- Miguel Labrador – I might be willing to reconsider church hierarchies, if…
- Paul Meier – Healing the Divides Begins Within
- Liz Dyer – You Can’t Get There From Here
- K.W. Leslie – Humility
- Kathy Escobar – 10 ways we can build bridges instead of bomb them
- Loveday Anyim – The “non-Gospelized Rituals” of Pentacostalism
- Caedmon Michael – Bridging the Divides
- Carly Gelsinger – “Church Shopping” at the Wrong “Mall”: A Story of Easter Sundays
- Mallory Pickering – A Splintered People
- Pastor Edwin Fedex – Tearing Down Fences and Building Sidewalks
- Jen Baros – Bridging the Divides: How to Heal
- Burning Religion – The Impossible Space Between Us
- Bronwyn Lea – When My Children Squabble
- Phil Wyman – The Impossible Space Between Us