Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Unity - At What Price?

Dennis Prager has written a column posted at Townhall that touches on the subject of church unity and the regular calls we hear for us to be unified ("Can't we all just get along?").

The point of Prager's column is that Senator Barack Obama's repeated calls for unity aren't all they're cracked up to be. Unity sounds good, but what will it take to get it? In other words, someone is going to have to give something up in order for all of us to "just get along."

For example, Obama supports pulling our troops out of Iraq immediately. Republicans, with the exception of Ron Paul, do not support removing our troops immediately from Iraq. How can we all have unity on this issue? One side will have to move, give in, or compromise their position. There's no other way it can happen. Prager says that what Obama means by calling for unity is that everyone should agree with his (Obama's) opinion. In other words, "Let's have unity! Everybody should think like I do!"

Calls for unity in the church are not what they seem, either. In the church at large, we have disagreements around the forms of church government, the modes of baptism, the nature and existence of spiritual gifts, the role of women in ministry, theological systems, and end times scenarios. When we get down to brass tacks, "unity" in the church would involve one or more groups giving up their distinctives and joining (or agreeing with) another group. "Let's have unity! Everybody should think like I do!" Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Unity is a laudable goal, but the calls for it are not always what they appear.


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