Thursday, June 14, 2007

Unity and diversity

I have been thinking a lot over the past months about the unity of the church. I’m not into drawing lines. I don’t like walls. I think the Church is ONE.

But at the same time, I have specific beliefs I think are important.

How does one balance unity and diversity?

How does one support and promote unity while also acknowledging and even endorsing certain distinctions? Is this possible?

One question that has been asked in the Church throughout the centuries is the question of essentials and non-essentials. What are the essentials for unity? What are the non-essential areas where we can embrace diversity? I struggle with this question because I really do want to err on the side of Church unity. I feel that if someone is willing to fellowship with me, then I am willing to fellowship with him or her.

This is easy to talk about but much more difficult in practice.

Talking about unity amongst diversity is simple. Resisting the pull towards divisions based on distinctions can be quite challenging.

How should this work?


andrea_jennine said...

An age-old question, huh? I recently heard a speaker who said that we all lean toward being either "unity" people or "purity" people. He said that we must all agree on the gospel, and that how much unity we need beyond that depends on the purpose of our coopertion (a conversation, a ministry, a job?). He also said - and I found this very thought-provoking - that our differences offer us an opportunity to practice charity (as in love, not as in money-giving). Anyways, all very interesting to ponder and attempt to put into practice...

Anonymous said...

what images should come to mind when one speaks of "diversity"?