Friday, September 11, 2009

the priority of unity in Jesus

There is nothing that honors God more when his people live together in unity. This is to be lived out in spite of our many differences, including how we think theologically and politically. If love doesn't prevail so that we not only get along with each other, but love one another, then something is wrong.

This means how we carry ourselves and share in areas of disagreement matters. Some Christians are sharp tongued; not that I can't be or haven't been. I can react in rather blunt fashion, which can end up doing more harm than good. We do need to speak truth in love, as we understand the truth. But we need to do so with much humility, remembering that we all know in part. And we need to avoid character attacks which seem to have become acceptable in our society, even among many Christians. Speak the truth in love and leave the judging to God, while holding on to discernment. I don't trust the words of those who attack others. I say that sadly. Not to say I don't trust any of their words, or even many of them. But that is a fault to be repented of and uprooted.

Yesterday it was so wonderful to see unity lived out on our team. To see those who haven't always seen eye to eye work well together with each other, I being one of those parties. And I felt that God's blessing was on us as a team, that God smiled on us with an extraordinary good day in getting needed work done.

What about you? What place does unity in Jesus have in your eyes, and how do you think God looks at it?


Maalie said...

>There is nothing that honours God more when his people live together in unity

I fear that this might never happen because different cultures worship different gods. And because each culture believes with absolute faith that "their" god is the "one true god", there can never be unity.

Even within Christianity people are prepared to kill each other over minor difference of dogma and you can have the ludicrous situation where opposing armies on a battlefield are praying to the same god that their side will kill more soldiers than the other.

Ted M. Gossard said...

With notable exceptions Christians have been egregious at this too many times. I like G.K. Chesterton's quote: "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried."

I believe the way of Jesus always exludes the sword, and that this is not just true in some sort of private, indiviudalistic, spiritual way, but politically and across the board. The way of Jesus is always the way of the cross.

Anonymous said...

maalie, i can understand your views and i can understand why you have the views that you have. they actually make a lot of sense. to believe something that one can not see is not something a lot of people stick with.
especially if they have seen people that claim to believe one thing yet do another. if you are looking at people to actually be Jesus, you will not find them. if you are looking at humans for what we really are, then you might find some people that see their need for this Savior.

Maalie said...

>then you might find some people that see their need for this Savior

I agree Nancy. I read a psychology Ph.D. about this recently. To abandon one's self to a mythological "saviour" is one way of bringing a little perceived control into one's life. But it is of course only a delusion. One can only achieve control by one's own actions, and that is not always successful. We we will never control our mortality and that is why so much superstition surrounds death, in all cultures.

Anonymous said...

yes, it is usually in situations that a person find that he is not in control of anything that he sees finally sees living death. he sees that he is already dead. and sometimes that is when the person sees something else as well. some people see their need. and when they see this need, this bare need that nothing of earth can touch. some realize that they need God in this life, at that point some turn to God and realize their need for a savior. to these people, it is very real. though this is not the only way that people come to believe and trust in God to be real to them. it does not make anyone moral. to some people it has less to do with the outcome of mortality than it does with the relationship with God. but, that is not how it is for all that believe. each person has a different reason for their belief in the God the bible and the belief of Jesus Christ.

any belief can be used as a reason for greed and hate. most all can see and feel that this is wrong. almost everyone has the knowledge that people have a need for respect and acceptance and Love.

people will get that for themselves at the expense of others. some do this in a big way, some in very small ways. it can turn big enough for us to call it greed and war.

we agree in many ways. we just do not agree in the fine point of the existence of God and the Son of God and how this belief brings in a relationship that involves another dimension to us. a relationship that some find to be true and real.

what can i say, except we do not agree on this point.

for what you believe is just as real to you as my belief is to me.

so why do we still have Love for one another? and i do have Love for you. do you have Love for me?

if so, what does that mean to you?

Maalie said...

Nancy, thank you for your reply. There is much I could say but will try to be brief.

>he sees finally sees living death. he sees that he is already dead

As a biologist I'm afraid that statement means nothing to me. Nothing at all. If it is meant as a metaphor, you might like to consider transcribing it into literal English, please.

>for what you believe is just as real to you as my belief is to me.

And there I think we find a major difference between us Nancy. I do not "believe" - I experience. Science is not about belief or faith. It is about accepting the most plausible explanation for evidence as we find it. Explanations can be refined as more evidence comes to light. Sometimes the evidence is so persuasive as to be incontravertible. For example, the age of the earth is some four billion years and all life evolved from a common ancestor.

>i do have Love for you. do you have Love for me?
if so, what does that mean to you?

Well, that is the age-old question, what do you mean by "love"? There is one person to whom I may assert "I love you". I cannot use the same of you, or people I don't know. Maybe it is a culture thing. I certainly respect you and wish you personally every joy and happiness, unreservedly, but to use the word "love" is not something that I would find natural.

I am on my way into Europe for a couple of weeks, please don't regard lack of further respose from me as lack of interest.

I wish all good wishes to you, Ted and his family and all readers of this blog.

Anonymous said...

i do not know how to explain the perception of living death. and i think that it is a different experience for each person that brings them to this perception. but, it is like one is dead, yet, still alive. and no matter how i put my experience, it would still mean nothing to you. but, if enough things are taken away from a person then they sometimes turn to God, and He is there.
that is the experience, He really is there.

yet, i am sure that you have another, more rational explination.

we have different experiences.
and there is no proof that satisfies you.

you are right about the difference between us. i go by faith and my own experiences that i can not proove. and you go by experience and only things that you can proove to others.

there is a real and huge difference between us.

i am thankful for your respect,and good wishes. those are very good feelings to have for another person.

it is understandable that you do not feel love for me, and that you reserve that for one person that you have chosen to give that to...along with others that are close to you in some way.

i guess what i do not understand is your interest in communicating with those that write about this belief. how did that get started?

Maalie said...

>it is a different experience for each person that brings them to this perception. but, it is like one is dead, yet, still alive

Nancy, is that what I might call "clinical depression"? Or is it something else?

Anonymous said...

i struggle with what is named anxiety and depression. there are many different reasons for this condition and each case is different.

and yes, at one point it was very much like being alive in the world yet dead because of not being able to take part or connect with the living.

though, i say death, because of the separation from life. and not to actually describe physical death, since i have no way of describing that, except for seeing it from a living perspective of people dying.

the kind of experience that i have had with God in this life is not something that i can prove to you in a scientific way or in any other way.

i know that you think it is not true. i know that you think that my mind is reaching for something that is not there, something i have made up to be a true experinece. i know that you think that i have given my life to an imaginary thought.

i can see how it may look to you.
and i am pretty certain of what you think of me and my belief.

would you like me to give up my belief and my relationship with God for a life of what people can prove?