Various Thoughts on Unity in the Church
Mark Twain used to say he put a dog and a cat in a cage together as an experiment, see to if they could get along. They did, so he put a bird, pig and goat. They, too, got
along fine after a few adjustments. Then he put in a Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist; soon there was not a living thing left. (Phillip Yancey, What’s so Amazing About Grace, Zondervan, 1997, p33)
The German philosopher Schopenhauer compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, “The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills. And in the lonely night of earth’s winter eventually we begin to drift apart and wander out on our own and freeze to death in our loneliness. “Christ has given us an alternative – to forgive each other for the pokes we receive. That allows us to stay together and stay warm. (Wayne Brouwer, Holland, Michigan, quoted in Leadership, p. 68.)
There are those in the church who believe that church union is the way God’s kingdom will advance in the world. They believe that Christianity would be greatly advanced if all Christian denominations could come together in a union. Such people fail to understand there is a difference between union and unity. Two cats tied by their tails and thrown over a clothesline may be in union, but they do not have unity.
ESV Psalm 133:1-3 Look how good and how pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil on the head, descendingto the beard-even to Aaron beard – and flowing down to the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon falling on Zion’s mountains. For there the Lord commanded his blessing- life everlasting.
Esv John 17:11 (Jesus praying to His Father.) I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by your Name, the Name that you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.