While on one hand we see nation against nation, community against community, family against family, man against man; on the other we see baseless arguments like that of Rajiv Malhotra (in his book ‘Breaking India’) that Christian work feeds and flourishes on the disunity within Indian communities. A lack of proper understanding of the Bible on unity is the reason.
Since there is no provision or possibility of uniting people without any differences and discrimination within any other framework and religious system, he attempts to degrade and dismantle the only Faith that can give equal rights to all people irrespective of their colour, language, geography. And the last book of the Bible shows us a glimpse of what it will be like when Christ returns and in His kingdom, “After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” (Revelation 7:9 NRSV).
The world’s pursuit of unity yields not much results because of its failure in not pursuing the Truth as C.S. Lewis aptly words it, “Seek Unity and you will find neither Unity nor Truth. Seek the light of truth, and you will find Unity and Truth”. The oxymoron phrase ‘Unity in Diversity’ makes sense and the meaningful and possible coexistence of unitas and varietas becomes achievable only when there is the pursuit of veritas (Truth). Devoid of Truth, the world’s sophomoric attempt at unity meets only with more disunity.
In his article ‘To the Unity of the Faith’ the General Secretary compares the church, church leaders and ministers of the first century and present times and shows the dilution of truth in life and in proclamation. This is a clarion call to stand on the truth without compromising the Word.
The article from the Associate General Secretary’s Desk, ‘Clarity in Unity’ presents four foundational principles of Unity to help understand that unity is not uniformity rather a process of maturity.
Unity and Love as abstracts cannot be understood unless we come to the Personhood of the Trinity. The more we learn and grow in the knowledge of our Triune God, the more we grow in unity. The Get Equipped article ‘Trinity: Understanding the Three in One’ is biblically sound and encourages the reader to grow in unity and to practice godly love that exists within the Trinity.
Unity in essence needs to be experienced within a person (aligning oneself with God’s word), with people and in God’s purpose. The New Gen Thinking article ‘Walls: Build or Break?’ expounds on these and brings unity lessons from walls of historical significance. The ‘Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares’ sculpture in the UN Art Collection and the inscriptions on the Isaiah Wall across the UN building, “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4b), is complete, meaningful and possible only when people walk in Truth, in God’s paths and when God shall judge among the nations (Isaiah 2:3,4a).
The Children’s Chronicles story ‘Raju’s Projects’ is a definite treat for children which shows how when small children come together they can make a big difference in someone’s life.
‘Till Death Do Us Part’ is an excellent article for married couples and for those preparing for marriage which points out to the importance of commitment and not compulsion to be the anchor of marriage life.
The Tentmaking article ‘Dichotomy in Calling: Unifying Skills & Spiritual Gifts to Serve’ removes the dichotomy of secular and sacred and helps the reader to understand work as a calling from God and to unify and use one’s skills, abilities, gifts for God’s glory and for His purpose.
This year, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. “To gather with God's people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer” remarked Martin Luther. This is a stark reminder for the need of unity within the church community. We are called to build the kingdom of God and not our own kingdoms.
We need yet another reformation, that will bring unity with the clarity that we are not called to compete with each other but to complement our graces and gifts; not to fight on fundamental doctrines and yet not compromise on sound doctrines; not to become self and church-obsessed, but to be kingdom-minded.
Chief Editor, The CALL
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