I am troubled by a Christianity which makes much of differences Christians have. My friend Allan Bevere shares here an extreme example of this.
There is no doubt that we Christians don't agree on everything. And we sadly don't always agree entirely on what is all important, because some of us insist that a good Christian must agree with us on this or that or else they can't work with us or really be one with us in the work of the Lord.
I'm glad to be a part of a denomination in which I can be a Christian pacifist, and believe whatever about Arminianism/Calvinism, or about the tribulation and Jesus' coming, and teach and be one in the work of the local church we're a part of.
I know that within evangelical Christianity there is a shaking going on. There are those who insist on a Calvinism which they see as front and center in their view and proclamation of the faith. There are others who believe that they need to save evangelicalism to what they believe it is about: an inerrant Bible which thus has to be interpreted literally (even when it may not be meant to be taken literally everywhere: an easy example: Jesus is not a gate, but metaphorically he is, for the sheep who metaphorically represent people) meaning we have to resort to a certain view of origins discounting science, etc. And there are others who believe we need to be open to what we can learn from other traditions of Christianity, as well as in science, etc., always reading Scripture at the same time as our basis for faith and practice while not discounting the rule of faith which has come through the church through the centuries. I'm sure I'm framing this too simplistically, and I don't mean to discount and write off those who I don't see eye to eye with.
But I share this to make a point. We have one faith in Jesus. God moves according to that, not according to our own understanding of theology. This is why we should not be confounded to see God's grace at work in the most unlikely places, which for many Christians would mean a different tradition, or even denomination, or sometimes even church within the same denomination (and sometimes even in churches and denominations which before have either denied or underminded the faith). God doesn't seem to value the same things we do. Yet at the same time God wants us to learn to see what is all important in our faith and practice, which of course must be joined together.
Okay. We aren't going to agree on everything such as mode of baptism, whether infants or only believers should be baptized, etc., etc. But we do need to demonstrate clearly to the world that we are one in Jesus, that there is one faith, one Lord, and that all who are true followers of Jesus are one with us in him.
Jesus considered the unity of all who believe in him as part of what is all important. And with other essentials such as Jesus alone as our Savior and Lord, the unity we have in Jesus and living out that unity must likewise become front and center in our lives and witness to the world. Not always easy. And others might not join in. But we need to insist on it, as we learn to pray and work together for others in the way of Jesus.
What might you like to add here, or any thoughts?