The Glaring Possibility

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

Jesus, John 17:20-21

One of the keys towards unity in the Church, indeed, one of the most oft missed even glaring possibilities, is found here in Jesus’ priestly prayer for unity. I know, I keep coming back to this verse. Maybe because it is so powerful, so compelling, I hope this prayer comes true.

Jesus prays that we would be one just as he and his Father are one. The oneness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is the model of oneness Jesus prays we have. This oneness goes deeper than our facades, our creeds, and our steeples. It goes to the heart of what it means to be in fellowship and community.

It means there is intentional diversity in unity.

The Athanasian Creed gives us an idea of the diversity yet unity within the Trinity. The Father is not the Son is not the Holy Spirit. Yet, the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. In the same vein, it could be said, The Lutheran is not the Presbyterian is not the Pentecostal is not the Baptist…ect. Yet, the Lutheran is the Church, the Presbyterian is the Church, the Pentecostal is the Church, the Baptist is the Church…ect.

The Church is not God, yet, the Church is made in the image of Christ, the image of God. The Trinity becomes the model in which our lives in the Church should model.

Henri Blocher says, “If the pattern is trinitarian, the unity is not obtained to the detriment of the diversity… [it is ] a unity “harmoniously differentiated… The divine trinity is not only a pattern, but a foundation of that marriage of unity and diversity which holds under suspicion all enterprise of bureaucratic uniformity.”

In other words, the unity the Church receives by the Spirit of God will not transform us into churches that all look the same, feel the same, and worship the same style. Rather, the unity that God gives keeps our diversity intact. This means bringing each church and tradition under one head, one managing organization, is not only foolish practically, but, is not the work of God. The work of God is many members, one body. Just as the Trinity is three persons yet one God.

2 thoughts on “The Glaring Possibility”

  1. In my opinion we can not expect churches to unite who have opposing views of salvation. Either we have free will to choose or God chooses. Churches who believe in free will may unite. Churches who do not believe in free will may unite. But they can not unite together.
    They may have hundreds of beliefs in common but if they can not agree on salvation there can not be unity.

    1. I disagree. Because both the Reformed and the Arminian preach the same gospel: Jesus is king, in him we have forgiveness, repent and be baptized. The working of the Holy Spirit is the same work in the believer regardless of tradition. The apostles preached, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” But they also taught, “You’ve been chosen in Christ Jesus.”

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