We are again within the annual week of prayer for Christian unity and everyone is welcome to attend this afternoon’s special service at Church on the Heath.
The concept of Christian unity is, somewhat ironically, the subject of much argument (and even worse). Some will talk of seeking unity on the primary doctrines of the Christian faith, whilst allowing differences of understanding / practice on more secondary issues. However, there can then be great discussion / disagreement on defining what are primary and secondary matters. Some may question whether CCBC should be part of Churches Together in Fleet and Church Crookham and I do understand the potential concerns that may be raised. My position, however, is that we are not seeking true Biblical unity in being part of Churches Together – rather it is a local network that enables gospel opportunities to be advanced (especially through, for example, FACCTS and LivingStones), supports social action (e.g. via the Foodbank and Fleet Angels) and encourages prayer for our town.
What is true Biblical unity? Jesus actually defines it in extraordinary terms in His great prayer in John 17. He refers to us being “brought to complete unity” (v23) in a oneness equivalent to the perfect oneness within the Trinity! What an objective! What a standard!
If I may be somewhat controversial, I have never understood the idea that unity may require us to “agree to differ”. Do you think the Father and the Son ever “agree to differ”? The apostle Paul appeals to the Corinthian church to “agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Corinthians 1v10). This is deep, true Biblical unity and the call upon each of us within CCBC must continue to be to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4v3).
Peace and Grace
PS – I am also not convinced that agreeing to differ is healthy in a Christian marriage!